Defence minister says former deputy behind assassination attempt
Defence minister, Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Barghathi
Tripoli, 20 January:
The defence minister, Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Barghathi has accused his former deputy of inciting an attempt to kill him during his visit to Tobruk yesterday, Saturday.
Barghathi issued a statement to the Libyan news agency LANA tonight, saying that his recently-removed deputy, Siddiq Al-Ghaith had been behind an attempt to assassinate him, when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle at the Tobruk airbase.
The Defence Minister also said that Ghaith’s claims to Al-Jazeera TV, that the shooting had been a “tribal matter”, were untrue.
There was much confusion after the incident, with a LANA reporter saying that the minister had not been targeted, but that his security detail had fired warning shots in the air, after a dispute broke out between military units at the airbase.
This was contradicted by the new deputy defence minister, Khalid Sharif, who told AFP: “As the minister prepared to leave the airport by car, his bodyguard traded fire with angry soldiers and ex-rebels, but the minister was not hurt.”
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