February 21, 2015 - 10:25 AMT
Islamic State militants kill 42 in Libya suicide car bombings

Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State killed 42 people in suicide car bombings in eastern Libya on Friday, Feb 20 in apparent retaliation for Egyptian air strikes, according to Reuters.

The three car bombs exploded in Qubbah, a small town near the seat of the official government in what appeared to be another high profile attack by the group after the storming of a Tripoli hotel and the killing of 21 captive Egyptian Copts.

On Monday, Egyptian air force jets bombed Islamic State targets in Derna in far eastern Libya, after the ultra-radical group released a video showing the Coptic Christian migrant workers being decapitated on a beach.

"They killed and wounded tens in revenge for the bloodshed of Muslims in the city of Derna," said a statement issued by the "Islamic State, Cyrenaica province". It could not be verified by Reuters but this group has issued statements before which were not subsequently contested by others.

The bombs exploded shortly before Friday prayers at a petrol station, the local security headquarters and the town council in Qubbah, home town of Parliamentary Speaker Aguila Saleh, security officials said. His house is close to the town council, but he was out of town at the time.

Forty-two people were killed, among them five Egyptian workers, and 70 people were wounded, security officials and medics said.

Photo: AFP