Gunmen kill Libyan capital police chief

File photo shows Libyan security forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.

File photo shows Libyan security forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Unknown attackers have shot and killed Tripoli police chief Colonel Mohamed al-Suissi in the Libyan capital’s eastern suburbs.

According to an unnamed security source, Suissi had participated in a meeting of Tajura municipal council in the eastern suburbs on Tuesday and was on his way back to Tripoli city center when the assault occurred.

“Colonel al-Suissi was assassinated by a group of unknown hooded people who opened fire on him in his vehicle. Two men with him were kidnapped in the attack,” the source said.

Libya’s state news agency LANA also confirmed Suissi’s death, adding that the two bodyguards who had been abducted when Suissi was killed had been released.

Interior Ministry spokesman Rami Kaal said an investigation has been launched into Suissi’s death.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the assault.

Nearly three years after the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups.

The former rebels refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.

While the army and law enforcement services regularly come under attack in the eastern city of Benghazi, such assaults are not common in Tripoli.

The capital has been the scene of clashes between rival militias, centered on the international airport which has been closed by the violence since July 13.

The fighting has left at least 124 people dead and more than 500 others injured. Officials say the conflict has displaced around 36,000 people who have escaped from the area for safer parts of Tripoli.

 
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