A Truck Bomb at a Libyan Police Academy Kills More Than 60 — And ISIS Might Be Responsible

A Truck Bomb at a Libyan Police Academy Kills More Than 60 — And ISIS Might Be Responsible
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Al-Jahfal, a police training academy in Zliten, Libya, was the target of a truck bomb Thursday morning, which claimed the lives of more than 60 people and injured 127.

The explosives were reportedly placed in a water truck and could be heard in Misrata, a city 40 miles away, according to the BBC. It is one of the biggest attacks to rock the country in recent years.

The local hospital was inundated with patients; other medical centers had to start accepting victims and blood shortages led to a public appeal for donations.

Zliten's mayor, Miftah Lahmadi, said the bomb went off as recruits were assembling at the academy at the start of the day, the Guardian reports, when the explosive-laden truck charged into the main gate, witnesses told Al Jazeera.

Since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has become a political vacuum and breeding ground for extremist groups that has swiftly descended into chaos amidst an ongoing power struggle. 

According to the Financial Times, ISIS has had a growing influence in the war torn country, and while the terrorist network has not formally claimed responsibility for the attack, its affiliated media outlet, Aamaq, has said ISIS was at the helm of the "martyrdom operation."

In 2014, Libyan military gather ammunition left by Islamic militia after conflict in Banghazi.
Source: 
Mohammed El-Sheikhy/AP

"The big question now is whether it will make the clock tick faster for any Western intervention," Mattia Toaldo, a European Council on Foreign Relations Libya specialists, based in London, told Bloomberg Business. "They should be careful to craft a response that doesn't destroy the political process."

ISIS has already created a stronghold in the Libyan city of Sirte, from which it has been attacking oilfields, according to Reuters. Oil is a huge source of income for the official, albeit weak, government as the country has one of the largest crude oil reserves in the world.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Human smuggling is a deadly problem — and hardline immigration policies will make it worse

The recent deaths in a tractor-trailer outside Walmart are startling — but historically, not uncommon.