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Libya: Haftar’s Chief of Staff Escapes Assassination Attempt

Libya: Haftar’s Chief of Staff Escapes Assassination Attempt

Wednesday, 18 April, 2018 - 18:15
Chief of staff of the commander of the Libyan National Army survives an assassination attempt in Benghazi. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The Libyan National Army announced on Wednesday that the chief of staff of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar survived a car bombing in the eastern city of Benghazi.

General Abdelrazak al-Nadhuri "escaped unharmed from a terrorist assassination attempt after a car bomb exploded... as his convoy passed," the LNA said in a statement.

One civilian was killed and at least two others wounded in the attack.

The explosion took place in the Sidi Khalifa district at the eastern entrance to Benghazi, the LNA statement said.

Nadhuri was traveling from Benghazi to his base in al-Marj, a small eastern town, when his convoy was hit some 20 km (12 miles) outside Benghazi.

His spokesman Malek al-Sharif told AFP that the chief of staff, his bodyguards and those travelling with him were unharmed.

"This cowardly terrorist act comes after the defeat of these terrorist groups in Benghazi," Nadhuri told the Al-Hadath news outlet.

He accused "terrorist cells" of being behind the attempted assassination.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility.

A security official in Benghazi, Majdi al-Orfi, told AFP that the two victims, a Syrian and a Sudanese national, were caught in the explosion. The Syrian died.

Last summer, Haftar announced the "total liberation" of Benghazi, after a three-year campaign to seize the city from extremists who had made it a stronghold following the revolution.

Haftar supports a parliament based in the east of the country, while a UN-backed unity government in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority nationwide.

ISIS terrorists remain active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out of their northern stronghold Sirte in 2016.

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