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Car bombing in Libya kills 13 people

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ESAM MOHAMED | December 22, 2013 09:30 AM EST | AP

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A suicide car bomb attack on a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Libya's restive eastern city of Benghazi killed 13 people Sunday, the government said.

It was the latest episode of violence to rock the city, the birthplace of Libya's 2011 uprising, two years after the end of the eight-month civil war that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Much of Libya is experiencing a security vacuum but attacks against the military and security forces are particularly common in Benghazi, a stronghold of militias with roots in anti-Gadhafi rebel brigades. Some of the groups are Islamic hard-liners.

"The perfidious terrorist attack left 13 martyrs from our best sons including brave soldiers and security men," the government statement said. It said three other soldiers were wounded, without giving a breakdown in the casualties between soldiers and civilians.

The government announced three days mourning and postponed the country's independence celebrations, previously set for Dec. 24.