Middle East

Local official shot dead in Libya’s Misurata

Chief of municipal council was abducted and later found dead

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 18.12.2017
Local official shot dead in Libya’s Misurata file photo

By Walid Abdullah

TRIPOLI, Libya

Militants shot dead the chief of the Misurata Municipal Council in northwestern Libya on Monday, according to the official Libyan News Agency.

Mohammed Ishtwei was abducted by militants shortly after leaving the city’s airport earlier in the day and was later found dead, the agency said, citing a local source.

His body was dumped outside the local morgue in the city.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

The UN mission in Libya swiftly condemned the killing.

Ishtwei "was keen on stability of his city and his country, played an active role in the establishment of civil peace and was seeking to strengthen harmony and reconciliation", it said in a statement on Twitter.

The National Accord government also condemned the “cowardly and malicious terrorist attack".

Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of Libya’s unity government, described the assassination as a “threat” to the country’s peace, according to a statement.

The National Committee for Human Rights in Libya also described the attack as a sign of an increase in the oppression and exclusion shown to people.

A written statement by the committee said the attack constitutes ‘very dangerous’ data that assassinations carried out for the clearance of political issues are resuming.

Ghassan Salame, UN Special Representative for Libya, also expressed his sorrow over the incident on Twitter, noting that Ishtwei was a man dedicated to his country and he worked for the establishment of peace.

Libya has remained dogged by chaos and political uncertainty since 2011, when a bloody uprising led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

The ensuing power vacuum swiftly led to the emergence of several competing seats of government -- including one in Tobruk and another in the capital Tripoli -- and a plethora of heavily-armed militia groups.

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