TRIPOLI, Libya — A deadly car bomb exploded Monday near a hospital in an area packed with civilians in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, destroying part of the facility, officials said.
Officials gave conflicting casualty figures, with death tolls ranging from three to 10 in the chaotic aftermath of the attack.
Benghazi, which was the birthplace of the revolution that led to the ouster of dictator Moammar Khadafy, has suffered a series of assassinations and other attacks, including the Sept. 11 assaults on the US diplomatic mission that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The oil-rich North African nation is still largely dominated by militias, many including fighters who battled Khadafy’s forces during the 2011 civil war. Now, infighting among militias is rampant in the battle for control.
But witnesses and analysts said Monday’s explosion stood out because it struck during the day in a crowded area, putting civilians at risk. Past attacks have occurred at night and have targeted police stations or foreign missions.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Libyan Prime Minster Ali Zidan suggested it could be Khadafy supporters or ‘‘other factions’’ at odds with the government in Tripoli.
Senior security official Abdel-Salam al-Barghathi said 10 people had been killed when attackers used a remote control to detonate the explosives-laden car, which was parked outside a bakery near Jalaa Hospital.
Zidan acknowledged the government was in part to blame for the instability and lawlessness that continue to plague the country.