Benghazi security chief in assassination attempt
By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 22 February 2017:
Benghazi’s security head, Saleh Hweidi, narrowly avoided being killed today when a car filled with explosives blew up as he drove past. He sustained minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.
“He is fine,” one of his colleagues told the Libya Herald.
The attack happened at around the time of sunset prayers this evening as Hweidi was driving between Sidi Faraj and Hawari.
Although no one was killed, the blast was massive. It has resulted in criticism of LNA chief of staff and military commander from Ben Jawad to Derna Major-General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nuzheri who is reported to have instructed guards at checkpoints in the city to stop using explosives detection scanners. The suggestion is that the attack could have been prevented had the scanners been working.
The attack is the latest worrying sign of a return of the assassinations that plagued Benghazi in 2014, when 231 successful and failed attempts were recorded.
Only last month, a car bomb exploded outside a Benghazi mosque in an attack apparently targeting former interior minister Ashour Shuwail.
Hweidi has managed to stay on as the head of Benghazi’s security directorate, despite attempts to remove him. Beida-based interim government deputy minister Adel Abdulaziz Omar who is currently acting as minister, signed an order to replace him three weeks ago. However, he has stayed on at the instance of Khalifa Hafter.