It was the latest episode of violence to rock the city, the birthplace of Libya’s 2011 uprising, two years after the end of the eight-month civil war that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Much of Libya is experiencing a security vacuum but attacks against the military and security forces are particularly common in Benghazi, a stronghold of militias with roots in anti-Gaddafi rebel brigades. Some of the groups are Islamic hard-liners.
“The perfidious terrorist attack left 13 martyrs from our best sons including brave soldiers and security men,” the government statement said. It said three other soldiers were wounded, without giving a breakdown in the casualties between soldiers and civilians.
The government announced three days mourning and postponed the country’s independence celebrations, previously set for December 24.