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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Unknown assailants threw an explosive device at a military checkpoint in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi early on Wednesday, killing three soldiers and injuring three others, security officials said.

The attack was the latest in a wave of violence against security forces in the city, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

Nearly two years after he was ousted, the Tripoli government is still struggling to impose its authority on a country awash with weapons and where lawless militias do as they please.

"In the night, unknown assailants in a black Chevrolet car threw an explosive device as they passed a military patrol at one of the city's roundabouts," a police source said.

"There was no shooting. They then just fled."

Abdullah al-Shaafi, spokesman of Benghazi's security operations room, confirmed three soldiers had been killed and three others wounded in the attack.

Attacks on police stations and patrols have become frequent in the city, which has been the scene of power struggles among armed Islamist factions.

(Reporting by Ghaith Shennib and Firas Bosalum; editing by Andrew Roche)

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