An anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya. File picture: Hussein Malla/AP

Benghazi, Libya - At least two people were killed when a car bomb exploded in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday, according to local security sources.

One of those killed was a local employee of the UN mission in Libya, an official in Benghazi's Criminal Research Department told dpa.

Seven other people were injured in the bombing that took place near a shopping centre, added Walid al-Orfi.

Benghazi was the birthplace of a 2011 revolt that toppled Libya's long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

As a result of the ensuing civil war, the city descended into chaos and was at times controlled by an alliance of Islamist militants.

In 2017, loyalists of eastern Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar took over the city.

Haftar is the chief of Libya's self-styled National Army, which is aligned with an elected parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

He is at odds with a UN-backed government based in the capital Tripoli.

Last year, at least 33 people were killed in twin car bombings that struck close to a mosque in Benghazi.