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Libya regional official escapes assassination

Benghazi's military chief narrowly escapes attempt on his life, just days after deadly violence rocks capital Tripoli.

Last updated: 18 Nov 2013 11:08
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The military governor of Libya's Benghazi has escaped an assassination attempt that killed a member of his entourage and seriously wounded another.

Eastern Libya, and particularly the city of Benghazi, has been hit by a wave of attacks mostly targeting security officials.

"The motorcade of Colonel Abdallah al-Saati, head of the joint security room and military governor of Benghazi, was attacked as he passed through the Al-Hadeq area, leaving one dead and one seriously wounded from his entourage," Colonel Abdallah al-Zaidi, security forces spokesman, told AFP news agency on Monday.

Benghazi's joint security room is a body grouping together all the different security bodies operating in the eastern city.

"Explosives experts are currently combing the neighbourhood to determine how the convoy was attacked and the amount of explosives used in this blast, which was heard in most areas of the city," Zaidi said.

Nearby cars were badly damaged by the blast, he said.

Bombings and shootings in eastern Libya have killed more than 100 army and police officers and judge.

Libya's fledgeling government is struggling to build up a professional police and army to counter the rising violence there.

Violence has also rocked western Libya in the past week: at least 43 people were killed and another 450 wounded in the deadliest unrest to hit the Libyan capital since the overthrow of long-term ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Demonstrators protesting on Friday against militias in Tripoli's Gharghour neighbourhood were fired upon from villas occupied by fighters from the city of Misrata, who killed several protesters before rival militias swept in.

On Monday, kidnappers freed Libya's deputy intelligence chief a day after he was abducted from Tripoli's international airport, according to a senior parliamentary security committee official.

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