Fresh wave of unrest flares in Libya

Assailants attack an Islamist party office in Tripoli and a soldier was killed in fighting in Benghazi, officials say.

    Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said he would carry out a reshuffle of his government [AFP]
    Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said he would carry out a reshuffle of his government [AFP]

    Assailants have attacked an Islamist party office in Tripoli and a soldier was killed in fighting in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, officials said, in a wave of unrest since the killing of a political activist last week.

    The death of prominent Muslim Brotherhood critic Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, shot after leaving a mosque in Benghazi on Friday, has triggered violent demonstrations, with attacks on the movement's offices in the eastern city and the capital, Tripoli.

    On Sunday, buildings used by the judiciary in Benghazi were bombed, followed by overnight clashes between an armed group and military special forces.

    Early on Monday, an unidentified group attacked the headquarters in Tripoli of the al-Watan [Nation] political party, led by former militia leader Abdelhakim Belhadj.

    "They smashed windows, shot at the door locks to open them and threw Molotov cocktails inside," Jamal Ashour, head of the party's political office, told the Reuters news agency.

    "The damage is serious. No one was injured."

    'Attempted assassination'

    Meanwhile on Monday, a car bomb exploded in the central Benghazi, injuring a colonel in the Libyan navy was, a security spokesman told AFP, calling the blast an "attempted assassination".

    "The explosion was caused by a device attached to the car," Mohamed Hijazi  said after reports of a white lorry exploding in the city centre and bursting into flames

    Also on Monday, the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said he would carry out a reshuffle of his government in the coming days, a move aimed at ending the country's current political crisis.

    "Today we chose a figure for the defence portfolio and tomorrow [Tuesday] or the day after we are going to present a list of ministers to the General [National] Congress," Zeidan said.

    Libya has not had a defence minister since the removal of Mohammed al-Barghathi from the post in late June.

    Zeidan, speaking at a news conference, did not give the names of any of the candidates or other portfolios that will be affected by the reshuffle.

    "I understand the population's opposition to this agency that was used by the former regime to repress the people. But without an efficient intelligence body, we cannot stop the attacks," he said the day after two explosions outside the courthouse in second city Benghazi wounded 43 people, according to the latest health ministry toll.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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