At least 30 people were killed Friday in three separate car bomb explosions in the eastern Libyan city of Qubbah, according to local media reports.
Parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh said that the car bombs were set to blow up a gasoline station and a security building, Reuters reported. According to Saleh, Friday’s blasts were retaliation for Egypt’s airstrikes on strongholds of the Islamic State group in the eastern city of Derna, which is about 25 miles east of Qubbah. However, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“We are announcing seven days of mourning for the victims of Qubbah,” Reuters quoted Saleh as saying. “I think this operation was revenge for what happened in Derna.”
— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) February 20, 2015
On Monday, Egypt had launched airstrikes on ISIS targets in Libya, following the release of a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by ISIS. Following that, on Tuesday, Egypt launched its second round of airstrikes targeting ISIS positions in Derna.
Libya's internationally recognized government, which has been confined to the eastern port city of Tobruk, urged the U.N. on Thursday to lift an arms embargo so that it could launch sustained offensives against ISIS and other militant groups in the country, the BBC reported.
The embargo on arms supplies to Libya was imposed in 2011 after the country's deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi was accused of a violent crackdown on civilians participating in anti-government protests.