Two police stations targeted in Libya's Benghazi - source

BENGHAZI, Libya Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:55am GMT

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Two police stations were targeted in what appeared to be simultaneous attacks in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday, a police source said, a day after four policemen were killed when a compound was attacked.

An explosive device was thrown at an empty car parked in front of Gharyounes police station in western Benghazi early on Monday, the source said. A loud explosion was heard in the area, according to a Reuters reporter nearby.

An explosive device was also thrown in front of another police station in the east of the city, damaging a front wall.

"The attacks appear to be simultaneous. There are no injuries," the source said.

The anti-Gaddafi uprising started last year in Benghazi but Libya's second city is now a hot spot for violence, with arms readily available and state security forces struggling to assert their authority.

On Sunday, unknown assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a Benghazi police compound, which houses patrol cars, damaging an office and killing one policeman. A gun battle followed and three of the police reinforcements who arrived at the scene were killed, a police spokesman said.

That attack is believed to be linked to the recent detention of two men in connection with several assassinations of security officials in the city, as the assault happened next door to a police station where they were being held.

In September, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the worst of a string of attacks on international convoys and official buildings in the city.

(Reporting by Ghaith Shennib; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Jackie Frank)

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