May 31, 2015 / 8:59 AM / 3 years ago

Suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State in western Libyan city kills five: official

MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Five people were killed and eight wounded in a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State outside the Libyan city of Misrata on Sunday, security officials said.

A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into the main security checkpoint west of Misrata, the officials said. Several cars and nearby shops were damaged by the blast.

Islamic State claimed the attack, which it said had been carried out by a Tunisian, according to a statement on Twitter.

Islamic State militants have carried out several attacks in the Misrata area as well as other parts of Libya, exploiting a security vacuum as two rival governments battle for control of the oil-producing nation.

Misrata, located to the east of Tripoli, is allied with the unofficial government that controls Tripoli. The internationally recognized government operates out of east Libya since losing control of the capital last August.

“We will support all army, police and revolutionary forces to fight and chase those apostates who have come to Libya claiming they are representing Islam,” Libya’s rival prime minister, Khalifa Ghwell, told Reuters at the scene of the blast.

“Islam disowns them,” he said.

Separately, a member of a rival parliament in Tripoli, Salim al-Hamali, who had been missing, was found dead south of the capital, Tripoli-based al-Nabaa television said. Parliament’s spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Libya’s official government has been based in the east since losing control of the capital in 2014 at the hands of an armed faction which set up a rival administration and parliament.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami, Ulf Laessing, Ahmed Tolba, Editing by Angus MacSwan and Susan Thomas

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