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Explosion flattens security headquarters in eastern Libyan city

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BENGHAZI, Libya — Witnesses say a strong explosion ripped through the main police building in Libya's restive city of Benghazi, nearly flattening it, days after Islamic militias overran army barracks and claimed control of the city.

The police headquarters has been empty for several days after militias pounded it with shelling. Friday's blast appeared to be from explosives planted in the building, the witnesses at the site said. Police officials in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, could not be reached.

A coalition of Islamic militias over the past week captured a number of army bases in the eastern city, driving out troops and police and seizing large weapons stores. The fighting takes place at a time rival militias in the capital Tripoli have been battling for weeks over control of its airport.

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