The United Nations Security Council during an emergency meeting strongly condemned a car bomb attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed three staff members and injured dozens of others, including civilians.
Three U.N. staff members also were injured Saturday.
The staff members served with the U.N. Support Mission in the country under a mandate “in order to provide a more secure future for the people of Libya,” said Joanna Wronecka, Polish U.N. ambassador and president of the 15-member council for August, in a U.N. news release.
“On behalf of the members of the Security Council, I would like to condemn in the strongest terms the outrageous, deadly and totally unacceptable attack on United Nations that occurred today in Benghazi, Libya,” she said Saturday.
“This cowardly attack, which comes at a time when Libyans are out shopping in preparation for the Eid al-Adha, serves as another strong reminder of the urgent need for Libyans to stop fighting, set aside their differences, and work together through dialogue, and not violence, to end the conflict,” Ghassan Salame, the U.N. special representative for Libya, said in the U.N. news release.
Salame added that “this attack will not discourage us, nor will it prevent us from carrying out our duties to bring about peace, stability and prosperity to Libya and its people.”
Since April, the United Nation has been attempting to broker a truce. Forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army and forces loyal to the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord have been fought along the southern outskirts of Tripoli.
The Benghazi-based LNA controls most of eastern and southern Libya, under the command of its leader, Commander Khalifa Haftar.
Secretary-General António Guterres “calls on the Libyan authorities to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this attack,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson
The government and LNA had accepted a U.N. proposal for a ceasefire during the holy Muslim holiday of Eid, beginning on Sunday.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to respect the humanitarian truce during Eid al Adha and return to the negotiating table to pursue the peaceful future the people of Libya deserve,” Guterres’ statement read.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abu El Gheit also vehemently condemned the terrorist attack.