The United Nations Security Council members condemned the attack in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi that killed three United Nations Libya mission (UNSMIL) staff members. The statement came at an emergency session held at the UN headquarters in New York City on Saturday.

"On behalf of the members of the Security Council I should like to condemn in the strongest terms the outrageous, deadly and totally inacceptable attack on United Nations that occurred today in Benghazi, Libya," said Joanna Wronecka, the Polish Permanent Representative.

Security Council members stood for a minute of silence in honour of the victims.

Bintou Keita, the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, said that the attack occurred "in an area supposedly under full security control of General Haftar's Libyan National Army forces."

She added that the UN does not "intend to evacuate from Libya. For the foreseeable future our place remains alongside the Libyan people, like our brave colleagues who gave their lives today."

On Saturday, a car bomb exploded as UN vehicles were travelling through a shopping area of the al-Hawari district of Benghazi. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

On Friday, the UN backed Government of National Accord (GNA) announced it had accepted a UN proposal for a ceasefire during the holiday of Eid al-Adha. At the time of the explosion on Saturday, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls much of eastern Libya, also agreed a ceasefire over the holiday period until Monday afternoon.

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Xinhua 30 Mar 2020 11:15 CEST

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