Head of Libya’s UN-backed government survives assassination attempt

Libya Map

The head of Libya’s UN-backed government, Fayez Serraj, survived an assassination attempt in Tripoli when his convoy came under fire on Monday.

“A rogue group of outlaws attempted to intercept the convoy carrying me and a number of the state’s officials,” Mr. Serraj said in a statement shortly after the attempt.

He said one of the motorcade vehicles was attacked by gunfire, but no one was injured.

Mr. Serraj, the head of the so-called government of national accord, stressed that security forces are currently hunting down the assailants, and vowed that they would be arrested and brought to justice.

Earlier, one of Mr. Serraj’s security guards, who requested anonymity, told dpa that Abdul Rahman Swaihli, head of the High Council of State, and the chief of the Presidential Guard Najmi Nakoa, were accompanying him.

The source added that several of Mr. Serraj’s guards were wounded.

Libya descended into chaos after long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi was overthrown and slain in a 2011 uprising.

In March 2016, the UN-backed unity government led by Mr. Serraj took over in the capital Tripoli amid international hopes it would end the unrest in the oil-rich country.

The Serraj government has been unable to gain recognition from the elected parliament based in Tobruk, where a rival government is based.

Mr. Serraj and rival army commander, Khalifa Haftar, recently reached an agreement brokered by Egypt to set up a joint committee to look into changing the UN-sponsored deal announced in December 2015 in order to reach a consensus formula.

In Tunisia, North African foreign ministers met to discuss the situation in Libya, aiming to resolve the crisis.

According to a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt vowed to continue their efforts to ensure the unity of Libya,

It added that a presidential summit of the three countries is scheduled to take place to follow up on Monday’s meeting, without specifying a date.

(dpa/NAN)


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