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Libya's rogue Gen. Haftar survives suicide bomb attack

It is the first assassination attempt on Gen. Haftar since the campaign began.

By Ed Adamczyk

BENGHAZI, Libya, June 4 (UPI) -- Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who has been leading an offensive against Islamist militia groups, survived a suicide bomb attack that killed four people.

The incident occurred at Haftar's home -- a farmhouse in Abyar, Libya, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Benghazi. A suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle to the front gate of the home, where it exploded. The four killed were guards at the gate. Seven people were injured.

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Haftar pronounced himself uninjured after the attack and promised a strong response. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

His troops have been fighting Islamist armed groups in the Benghazi area, hired by the government to police the area in the absence of a municipal police presence, for the past three weeks.

The incident was the first attempted assassination of Haftar since the battles began.

Haftar, who was an army chief-of-staff under Col. Muammar Gadhafi, has accused the government of sponsoring terrorism. His campaign has received support in some sectors of the military, including forces in eastern Libya and some members of the air force.

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