Libya’s interior minister escapes assassination attempt

libyas interior minister escapes assassination attempt
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The powerful interior minister of Libya’s unity government survived an assassination attempt Sunday on a highway near the capital Tripoli, an official from his inner circle told AFP.

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Gunmen opened fire on the motorcade of Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha in the capital Tripoli on Sunday but he escaped unharmed. (File/Reuters)

Fathi Bashagha’s convoy “was fired on from an armoured car while he was on the highway. His police escort returned fire. Two of the assailants were arrested and a third is in hospital,” the source said, adding that “the minister is fine”.

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Bashagha, a heavyweight in Libyan politics, was returning from a routine visit to a new security unit overseen by his department, the same source said. 

The 58-year-old has served as interior minister in the North African country’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord since 2018 and has staked his reputation on battling corruption. 

Libya has been riven by violence since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

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Two rival administrations, backed by an array of militias and foreign powers, have vied for control of the oil-rich country.

Bashagha had been seen as a favourite to lead a new interim government under UN-led peace efforts following an October ceasefire last year. 

The post finally went to businessman Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, a 61-year-old engineer, who has called for reconstruction, democracy and reunification in Libya.

By Famous Reporters

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