(CNN) - Children were among the victims Monday when a car bomb blew up near a hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi, a security official told state TV.
"Children with shredded bodies and wounds to the head," Benghazi Security Directorate spokesman Tareq Khraz told state TV Libya Al Ahrar. "I cannot even describe the scene to you, but believe me, it was horrific."
The car bomb detonated near Al Jalaa hospital but not immediately in front of the building. Officials don't know at this point who or what was targeted.
The blast destroyed eight cars and caused damage to nearby buildings, Khraz said.
Khraz said that at least 13 people were killed and more than 40 wounded. The hospital director, speaking on Ahrar TV, had a lower toll: three dead and 15 wounded.
The Libyan military ordered army and pro-military militias to help Interior Ministry forces preserve security, the military command told state news.
The incident brought a condemnation from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Libya.
"The Mission also underscores the need to support the legitimate authority of the State and enable it to shoulder its responsibilities in ensuring the safety and security of all citizens across Libya," it said in a statement.
Benghazi, in eastern Libya, had been the center of the opposition during the war that led to the toppling of the Moammar Gadhafi regime in 2011.
Gunmen attacked the U.S. diplomatic mission in the city on September 11, killing the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. The Obama administration's handling of that incident has come under much criticism and scrutiny.
Militia activity has plagued Libya since the Gadhafi regime was overthrown.