On May 25, a booby-trapped car exploded on Gamal Abdel Nasser street in the northeastern Libyan city of Benghazi, according to the Libyan outlet Africa Gate News. Libyan sources said that the explosion targeted a nearby Syrian commercial expo, which was organized by the Damascus government.
Africa Gate News said that eight civilians and soldiers of the Libyan National Army (LNA) had been killed and more than twelve others had been injured in the attack in Benghazi. Reportedly, no Syrian citizens were killed or injured.
The Libyan Counter-Terrorism Unit revealed that it had known in advance that sleeper cells were planning to target Benghazi and had informed the Ministry of Interior of Libya. However, the ministry didn’t take any protective measures, according to the Counter-Terrorism Unit.
Many Libyan and Arab officials, including Ahmed Aboul Gheit Secretary-General of the Arab League, condemned the attack. Meanwhile, Syrian pro-government activists viewed the attack as an attempt to sabotage the growing relations between the Damascus government and the LNA.
Over the last few months, the LNA and the Damascus took many steps to restore the economical and political relations between Syria and Libya, and the commercial expo in Bengasi was one of these steps. According to Libyan sources, the upcoming days will witness more similar steps including the resumption of flights between Benghazi and the Syrian city of Lattakia.