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Suicide blast targets rogue general

A suicide car bomber has targeted the home of a rogue Libyan general who has been leading an offensive against Islamists dominating the country's political scene, killing three people and wounding at least four, according to military officials.

There were conflicting reports on whether General Khalifa Hifter was wounded in the attack, which took place in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Gen Hifter's spokesman, Col Mohamed Higazy, said the general was not hurt but the military officials said he was wounded and taken to a Benghazi hospital.

The officials said the Libyan air force's chief of staff, Saqr al-Garoushi, was also wounded in the explosion and taken to the Benghazi hospital.

No other details were immediately available. It was unclear if the attacker detonated his explosives-laden car outside Gen Hifter's residence or if he actually got inside the compound.

No one claimed responsibility for the bombing, which bore all the hallmarks of Islamic militants whom Gen Hifter has vowed to crush since launching his offensive last month.

Gen Hifter's residence is less than a mile away from Benghazi's military command in the Benghazi suburb of al-Abyar.

A former army chief under the late dictator General Gadhafi, Gen Hifter and army units loyal to him have been battling Islamist militias, mainly in eastern Libya.

He has rallied support from the country's weakened military, anti-Islamist politicians, tribes and diplomats, vowing to crush the Islamist militias he blames for Libya's instability.

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