Libyan security officials have arrested 32 members of an organised network of Gaddafi loyalists linked to boming attacks in Tripoli on the eve of the anniversary of the fall of the city to rebel fighters.
Three car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan capital, killing two people on Sunday. Large numbers of police were deployed to cordon off the sites of the blasts in residential areas in central Tripoli, and remove the charred vehicles and other debris.
They were the first fatal attacks of their kind since a revolt led to Gaddafi's overthrow and death last year after 42 years in power.
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, 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 defence ministry has been using for interrogations and detentions, the sources said, killing two civilians and wounding three.
"The (victims) were two young men in their 20s. They drove past the police academy precisely at the time of the explosion," a security source said.
The blasts, which caused minor damage to the buildings and shattered windows of nearby cars and buildings, took place early in the day as worshippers prepared for mass morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration that marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan.
The 32 people were arrested after security forces raided several locations in and around Tripoli, tipped off by what a security official said were leads from "closed-circuit street cameras and intelligence."
The official, from the Supreme security committee that has been supervising security matters since Gaddafi's fall, told Reuters connections between the group and the attacks "have been established".
The latest attacks will test the mettle of the national assembly, which made improving security a priority when it assumed control this month from the National Transitional Council of opposition forces that toppled Gaddafi.
Its main task will be containing numerous armed groups, mostly militias who took part in the uprising, who refuse to lay down their weapons. Disarming them remains a challenge.
The 200-member assembly will name a new prime minister who will pick his government, pass laws and steer Libya to full parliamentary elections after a new constitution is drafted next year.
Persistent instability has affected Libya's relations with other countries and international organisations whose help it needs in its drive for stability, security and economic reconstruction.
The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended its activities in Benghazi, Libya's second biggest city, and Misrata after one of its compounds in Misrata was attacked with grenades and rockets.