ISIS beheading Libya
Isis' massacre of Egyptian Coptic Christians triggered the present bombardment in Libya. Reuters

The Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks that killed dozens of people in Libya on Friday (20 February), and said the bombings avenged the killing of Muslims in Derna.

A total of 42 people, including five Egyptian workers, were killed and a further 70 wounded after three car bombs detonated in the town of Qubbah. The bombs exploded shortly before Friday prayers at a petrol station, the local security headquarters and the town council offices.

A statement issued by the 'Islamic State, Cyrenaica province', published by Reuters, said that IS "killed and wounded tens, in revenge for the bloodshed of Muslims in the city of Derna."

The legitimacy of the source could not be verified by Reuters, although it has issued statements on behalf of IS in the past.

Derna has been the target of sustained bombardments by Egyptian planes, in response to a video released by Isis which showed the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians.

Soon after the Qubbah bombings, Libyan officials suggested they thought IS was responsible, although the group did not immediately claim responsibility for the attacks.

"We still don't know the identity of the attackers, but we assume that they belong to the Islamic State from Derna and they are responding to the aerial attacks by Egypt in Derna," said doctor Rida Alokilly, on behalf of the internationally recognised Libyan government.