Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Libya's Interior Minister Survives Assassination Attempt

Voice of America
22 Feb 2021, 07:05 GMT+10

Libya's interior minister survived unscathed Sunday an attack by gunmen on his motorcade, according to sources from his office.

The gunmen fired on Fathi Bashagha's convoy as he drove across the capital of Tripoli Sunday following a visit to the National Oil Corporation.

Two of the assailants were arrested and a third was killed in a confrontation with Bashagha's guards. Bashagha's office said the minister was unharmed, but at least one of his guards was wounded.

A statement from the ministry said Bashagha survived an "assassination attempt as he returned from his residence in Janzur."

The attack comes weeks after Libya agreed to an internationally recognized transitional government tasked with guiding the country to national elections later this year.

Bashagha, who has served as interior minister for the Government of National Accord (GNA) since 2018, has in recent months stepped up efforts to absorb armed groups across the country into national security forces.

Libya fell into internal armed conflict after the ousting and assassination of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011. The country has gone through cycles of violence, including having land and oil fields seized by terrorist groups, and the latest escalation, which began in April 2019, when Haftar's LNA moved on Tripoli.

In October, a cease-fire was signed between the two main parties - the Tripoli-based GNA and the forces of General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).

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