Libya’s powerful interior minister dodges assassination attempt

Photo Credit: Fethi Belaid/AFP

Libya’s powerful interior minister survived an assassination attempt after his motorcade came under fire outside Tripoli, the nation's capital, sources close to him have revealed.

Fathi Ali Abdul Salam Bashagha, Libya's current Minister of Interior of the Government of National Accord appointed by Fayez al-Sarraj, had finished a meeting on Sunday with the chairman of the national oil corporation and was returning to Tripoli when his escort came under attack by unidentified gunmen.

The 58-year-old escaped unharmed, while one of the assailants was killed while two others were arrested in the attack.

Bashagha has in recent months drawn the attention and anger of several armed groups in Tripoli after announcing his plans to demobilize militias and restructure them into the formal security apparatus.

Libya has been sunk in conflict since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

The North African country, a significant oil producer, has been divided between the GNA and a rival administration in the east, both of whom are supported by an array of local and international actors.

Bashagha, who has served as the interior minister of the UN-recognised GNA since October 2018, was seen as a favorite to succeed the last head, Fayez al-Sarraj.

That position finally went to Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, a 61-year-old businessman from Misrata who was elected as prime minister by Libyan delegates from both sides at the UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva last month.

The new interim government is given a task to lead the country through elections, scheduled for December.

Excerpts from AlJazeera

Publish : 2021-02-22 14:55:00

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