Libya interior minister escapes assassination bid

TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libya's interior minister escaped unscathed from an assassination attempt in Tripoli on Wednesday, the Lana news agency reported.

Seddik Abdelkarim, who is also deputy prime minister, was in his car when "unknown gunmen fired a barrage of bullets" at the vehicle, the agency said, adding that no one was killed or wounded in the attack.

Libya has grappled with widespread unrest since rebels overthrew and killed long-ruling dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Nato-backed uprising in 2011.

Wednesday's attack was confirmed by Al-Bahlul al-Sid, the head of the minister's office, who did not provide further details. The minister was on his way to parliament when his car was fired upon, Lana reported.

The attack came less than three weeks after the assassination of deputy industry minister Hassan al-Droui, who was shot in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte on January 12.

The uprising left Libya awash in weapons looted from Gaddafi's vast arsenals, complicating the government's efforts to rein in former rebels who effectively control much of the country.

Libya has seen near-daily attacks on security forces, particularly in and around the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 revolt.

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