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Libya: Grenade Launched at Elementary School Injures 12

Authorities scrambling to find man or organization responsible for launching grenade at primary school children.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/5/2014, 10:37 PM

Grisly scene: Benghazi school attack
Grisly scene: Benghazi school attack
Reuters

A grenade launched into a Benghazi elementary school playground injured 12 children Wednesday, leaving Libyan authorities scrambling to find the man or terror organization responsible. 

The attack occurred during recess, at about 11:00 am local time. An eyewitness told BBC News that he had seen a man rip out the grenade pin with his mouth before lobbing it over the private school's fence, then fleeing in a low black car with tinted windows. After the blast, chaos erupted. 

Twelve children were injured from the explosion. Libyan spokeswoman Fadia al-Barghathi stated to AFP that, of those, six children suffering "light to moderate" injuries were admitted to the city's Al-Jala hospital; six others, two in serious condition, were rushed to Benghazi Medical Center. 

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. An official investigation has been launched. Among the concerns: checking whether the incident was connected to a shooting attack several hours earlier on Libya's Al-Saiqa special forces in the city.

The same gunmen later terrorized an anti-government protest and attacked another Al-Saiqa checkpoint just outside of Al-Jala hospital. 

Since the ouster of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the government in Libya has struggled to contain militias in control of parts of the country. The militias took part in the uprising that led Qaddafi’s fall in 2011 but have been told by the interim government to disband or join the army by the end of the year.

Weapons have become widespread across the country, according to local media - and random acts of terror have become commonplace. 

series of clashes in the Libyan capital killed dozens and wounded hundreds more in November, although tensions there appeared to cool after a number of militias agreed to surrender their bases to government forces. The clashes were followed by a deadly weapons blast that killed at least 40 people.