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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Libyan eastern tribal leader survives assassination attempt

The car of Salah Al-Atewish, head of the Magharba tribe in eastern Libya, exploded just after he left a mosque in Benghazi after Friday prayers in an apparent assassination attempt.

Salah was taken to hospital along with a colleague who was injured in the blast as well. Salah is said to be in good condition while the condition of his colleague is critical. The incident happened in the Sid Faraj district of Benghazi. Apparently a bomb was placed under his car. It is not known yet if there were others injured by the blast according to the Libya Herald. The Libya Observer reports that Atewish's injuries were minor. Atewish was visited in the hospital by his son along with Saiqa special forces commander Wanid Bukhamada.
Some local observers are blaming the action on acting GNA defense minister Al-Mahdi Al-Barghathi together with some Benghazi militants as well as Ibrahim Jadhran who are also said to be intending to try to retake the oil ports and oil fields occupied by Khalifa Haftar commander of the House of Representatives' (HoR) Libyan National Army (LNA).
Atewish had been instrumental in helping Haftar seize the terminal and oil fields in September by urging members of his tribe based around the city of Ajdabiya to avoid bloodshed and not fight. Ibrahim Jadhran, an opponent of Haftar, former head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard along with his family are also part of the tribe. Atewish has since expressed his support for both the LNA and Khalifa Haftar.
As the Observer reports Benghazi has experienced many political murders lately:The war-torn city has been plunged into political murder. Last week, the head of Libyan Anti-Corruption Organization Mohamed Abu Gaiqis was killed in a car bomb explosion in Al-Kish square, one day before 10 bodies were found in a landfill site in Ziat Street. Two of the bodies were identified as Farhat Migherhi and Hussien Sharief, both are political opponents to Dignity Operation.Even more recently several members of the former 204 Tank Brigade that was commanded by Al-Barghathi, an opponent of Haftar, were murdered and their bodies showed signs of torture. According to a recent tweet the Al-Barghathi's house in Benghazi was torched after he criticized Haftar and the LNA: "#MoD Barghathi office to alnaba tv, protesters burned his house in #Benghazi after tonight statement against #LNA #Libya"


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