Bomb blast hits Egyptian consulate in Benghazi


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The Independent Online

A bomb has ripped through the Egyptian consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, leaving a security guard needing hospital treatment.

Witnesses said the blast tore through the garden wall of the consulate, wounding five children who were cut by flying glass from blown out vehicles building windows.

The device had apparently been concealed inside a briefcase.

Demonstrations were held on Friday in Alegeria Square over violence that led to the deaths of 700 in Cairo on Thursday and 173 on Friday, as clashes ensued between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the interim Government military.

Egyptian security forces are conducting a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters following last month's ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Islamists across the Middle East have condemned the crackdown and some have staged protests in their own countries.

Police cordoned off the scene whilst investigators combed the area for clues. They later reopened the street but posted extra police outside the consulate.

Lawlessness has blighted large areas of Libya following the 2011 war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Benghazi has seen a wave of violence with attacks on security forces and foreign targets.

US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi last year after Islamist gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate during a protest by a mob angry over a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

There has been no immediate claim over the attack.

Additional reporting by Reuters