Pro-Turkey Libyan minister survives assassination attempt
Libya’s pro-Turkey interior minister Fathi Bashagha, escaped an assassination attempt on Sunday.
An armoured car opened fire on Bashagha's convoy near the capital Tripoli, Deutsche Welle reported. He was uninjured, it said, citing a source close to the minister.
Fathi Bashagha has served as interior minister in the UN-recognised, Turkey- backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) since 2018.
Bashagha was a candidate for the office of prime minister of the new interim government, but participants in the Libyan political dialogue forum held in Switzerland in early February voted to elect businessman Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah instead. Dbeibah will be in charge until the end of the year, when elections are due to be held.
Police escorting Bashaga returned fire on the attackers. Two were arrested and a third is in the hospital, Deutsche Welle said.
Turkey supported the NATO operation that overthrew Libya’s long-time leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since then, the north African country has been embroiled in a civil war. Turkey is the GNA’s main backer against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Turkey deployed military forces to Libya in January last year after the GNA requested assistance under a defence pact.
There are about ten foreign bases on Libyan soil and thousands of mercenaries deployed there by Turkey, Russia and other countries, according to UN reports.