Motorcade of Libyan interior minister attacked
Libya’s interior minister survived an attack by several gunmen who ambushed his motorcade and fired shots at it on Sunday, injuring at least one guard, according to The Associated Press.
The country’s interior ministry said in a statement obtained by the AP that two gunmen were detained after the incident and another was killed. No information about the gunmen’s identities or whether they were thought to be linked to any militant groups in the region was initially released.
The attack occurred as the minister, Fathi Bashagha, was returning to his home, according to the statement.
A statement from the U.N. special envoy to Libya, Jan Kubis, called the attack an attempt at “derailing the political process and other efforts in support of Libya and its people,” the AP reported, while the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, reportedly condemned the attack and called for an investigation into the perpetrators.
“Minister Bashaga’s focus on ending the influence of rogue militias has our full support,” he added, according to the news service.
Libya has been wracked with sporadic violence since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011, partially resulting from the growth of militias aligned with the Islamic State in north Africa. A civil war also erupted in 2014 and continued throughout 2020; a peace process is now ongoing.
A U.N. report obtained by The New York Times last week accused former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, brother of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, of violating arms embargoes to Libyan rebels as recently as 2019.