Thursday, January 30, 2014

Occupied Libya Official Survives Assassination Attempt

29 January 2014
Last updated at 11:48 ET
BBC World Service

Libya minister survives assassination attempt

Libya's acting interior minister has escaped an assassination attempt in the capital,

Al-Sidik Abdul-Karim was on his way to a meeting when his car came under fire from unknown gunmen.

Earlier this month, deputy industry minister Hassan al-Droui was shot dead, in the first killing of a member of the interim government.
Libya has suffered chronic lawlessness since the CIA-Pentagon-NATO overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.

The transitional government has been struggling to assert itself over up to 1,700 different armed militias, each with their own goals.

'Not intimidated'

After the attack, Al-Sidik Abdul-Karim said in a statement: "Libya's men will not be intimidated by bullets, bombs or rockets."

The minister added that he would not abandon Libya's sovereignty or dignity.

It was the second attack this month on a government official.

On 12 January, gunmen killed the deputy industry minister during a visit to his hometown of Sirte, east of the capital.

No group has said it was behind the attack.

Dozens of military and police officers have been assassinated since the end of the civil war in the eastern part of the country, the BBC's Rana Jawad, in Tripoli, reports.

Local officials in other regions of Libya have also been killed.

Most cases remain unsolved and only few arrests have so far been made, our correspondent says.

Last week, the political instability worsened when the second largest party in the interim administration said it was quitting the government.

The Islamist Justice and Construction Party made the announcement after it failed to win sufficient support for a motion to censure Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Correspondents said the resignations would deepen the deadlock in the interim parliament, which has so far made little progress because of political infighting.

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