Libya's military police force commander killed
By Feras Bosalum and Ghaith Shennib, ReutersBENGHAZI, Libya--Gunmen shot dead Libya's military police force commander in the restive eastern city of Benghazi as he was about attend Friday prayers, a security source said, triggering a violent response from residents.
October 20, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The attack is the latest blow to a weak Libyan government that is struggling to assert control over militias and radical Islamists two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
Unknown gunmen opened fire on Ahmed al-Barghathi as he left his house to go to a mosque. “He was brought to hospital but later died there,” the source said.
Several army officers have been assassinated in Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador was killed during an Islamist assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission a year ago. The shooting of Barghathi, who was on vacation in the city, is the highest profile attack there for weeks.
Several hours after the shooting, dozens of residents joined members of Barghathi's tribe in storming the house of prominent militia leader Wissam Ben Hamid, witnesses said. His house was set ablaze but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Some of the protesters accused Hamid, leader of the Libya Shield Brigade, of having a role in the killing of Barghathi, who had been trying to restore order in Benghazi and elsewhere.
Libya Shield, an umbrella of former rebels who say they are now allied to the defence ministry, was not immediately available for comment.