The blast was the result of a car bomb, which exploded outside a Foreign Ministry building in the Libyan city, according to state media.
There were no casualties in the Benghazi blast, though it did blow away chunks of the building’s exterior. The branch also damaged a branch of the Central Bank of Libya.
The only injury was a bank guard, One resident, Sami Berriwen, told CNN that the blast happened around 7 am local time (1 am ET). He added that, if the explosion had happened just one hour later, the streets would have been filled with people on their way to work and other chores.
MSN News notes that no group immediately claimed responsibility for the Benghazi blast. Car bombs and other explosions are not unusual in Benghazi. The city was the birthplace of the revolution that toppled former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The country has been in a state of unrest ever since, as interim governments have failed to impose any kind of law and order. Militia forces initially formed to fight Gadhafi remain largely in control.
Wednesday’s bombing, along with the attack on the American consulate, happened on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which killed almost 3,000 people. The attack on Wednesday targeted a building that was once home to the US Consulate when King Idris ruled. He was eventually toppled by Gadhafi in 1969.
Diplomatic missions and security officials are common targets of Benghazi blasts, leading most Westerners to leave the area. Gunmen targeted the car of the Italian consul general in January, but did not injure anyone. Bomb attacks also targeted a UN convoy and a convoy carrying the British ambassador.
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