Tripoli minister survives Benghazi car-bombing

By Libya Herald reporters.

One of t vehicles damaged in today's Benghazi explosion (Photo: social media)

One of the vehicles damaged in today’s Benghazi explosion (Photo: social media)

Benghazi, 5 November 2017:

Government of National Accord (GNA) deputy interior minister Faraj Al-Gaem was unhurt in a Benghazi car-bomb attack which seriously injured seven people.

Gaem’s motorcade was passing a restaurant in the city’s Sidi Khalifa district when there was a large explosion.  Six members of his party were wounded along with an Egyptian member of staff in the restaurant.

Gaem, who was appointed to the interior ministry this September by Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serra, is a member of the Awagir tribe, which is dominant in the Benghazi area. His nomination was greeted with fury by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter who ordered all local officials and security forces to ignore any instructions he issued.

During the Revolution Gaem was an important Benghazi militia leader. When Hafter launched his Dignity (Karama) operation against Islamist militants in the city,  Gaem joined him. However, the relationship was ruptured after the-then LNA spokesman Colonel Mohamed Hejazi accused Hafter and his family of corruption.

In what was seen as a direct challenge to Hafter, soon after his appointment to the GNA’s interior ministry was announced, Gaem flew from Tunis into Benghazi where he was greeted by armed members of his tribe who had forced their way onto the apron of Benina’s recently-opened airport.

One of Gaem's wounded guards being treated (Photo: social media)

One of Gaem’s wounded guards being treated (Photo: social media)

It is unclear how much time Gaem has since spent in his home city. Shortly after today’s attack he told Libya News TV that he was in good health and had not been injured though four of his men had been wounded.

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