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Libya arrests Gadhafi loyalists over Tripoli bombings

Mahmud Turkia / AFP - Getty Images

Libyan security forces inspect the remains of a vehicle near the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli after twin blasts killed two people in the Libyan capital early Sunday.

Libya says it arrested 32 supporters of Moammar Gadhafi in connection with bombings that killed two people in the capital earlier Sunday.

An official from the country's Supreme Security Committee, which has been supervising security matters since the Gadhafi regime was overthrown last year, said the 32 had been part of an organized network.

Three car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings, according to reports.

One of the victims was killed by a blast near a police academy on one of Tripoli’s main streets, Omar al-Mukhtar, regional news channel Al Arabiya reported.

The blasts took place just before dawn as worshippers prepared for mass morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration that marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan.

Ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scenes of the blasts and large numbers of police cordoned off the sites before starting to remove the charred vehicles, Reuters reported.

Pictures of one of the car bombs, posted on Twitter by UK-based Libya political observer Mohamed Eljarh, were taken by eyewitness Ahmed Abdulgader, Eljarh said.

The first bomb blew up near the interior ministry's administrative offices in Tripoli but caused no casualties, security sources told Reuters. On arriving at the site of the explosion, police found another car bomb that had not blown up.

Minutes later, two car bombs exploded near the former headquarters of a women's police academy, which the defense ministry has been using for interrogations and detentions, the sources said, k il ling two people, both civilians, and wounding two.

The buildings targeted by the bombers are in residential areas at the heart of the capital, Tripoli.

Sporadic violence has remained a problem in Libya despite the peaceful transfer of power to the new government after elections in July, the first in decades following the overthrow last year of Moammar Gadhafi after 42 years in power.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that it was suspending its activities in Benghazi, Libya's second biggest city, and Misrata after one of its compounds in Misrata was attacked with grenades and rockets.

The fate of seven Iranian relief workers, official guests of the Libyan Red Crescent Association, remains unknown almost three weeks after they were kidnapped by gunmen in the heart of Benghazi.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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