Middle East, Africa

Libyan PM survives assassination attempt in Tripoli

Head of UN-backed unity government’s convoy comes under fire in Libyan capital

20.02.2017 - Update : 21.02.2017
Libyan PM survives assassination attempt in Tripoli Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-backed unity government ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )

By Ali Abo Rezeg and Walid Dokn 


Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-backed unity government, survived an assassination attempt on Monday when his convoy came under fire in capital Tripoli. 

While the prime minister escaped unscathed, two of his guards were reportedly injured in the attack. 

"The prime minister’s convoy came under fire as it passed by a government complex held by supporters of the national salvation government [led by Khalifa al-Ghawiel," a member of Libya’s unity government-linked Presidential Council told Anadolu Agency.

According to the same source, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, Al-Sarraj’s convoy had also included Abdul Rahman Swehli, head of Libya’s State Council, and Najmi al-Naqou, commander of the Presidential Guard. 

The prime minister’s office issued a statement in the wake of the incident, which, it asserted, had been carried out by a group of "outlaws". 

"Security forces affiliated with the Presidential Council are now searching for the perpetrators who will be handed over to the relevant authorities when found," the statement read.

Libya has been wracked by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power. 

In the wake of the uprising, the country’s stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of government, one in Tobruk and the other in Tripoli. 

In an effort to resolve the political standoff, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement in late 2015 establishing a government of national unity. 

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