Military Police Chief Killed In Libya
Libya's military police chief, Colonel Mustapha
al-Barghathi, was shot dead Friday in the
restive eastern city of Benghazi in the latest
assault on the restive country's fledgling
Unknown assailants gunned down Barghathi
outside his home, Colonel Abdullah al-Zaidi,
spokesman for the security services, told AFP.
He said Barghathi -- a former rebel leader in
the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime
dictator Moamer Kadhafi -- died of head and
chest wounds at the Mediterranean city's Al-
Barghathi was the first officer in Kadhafi's
army to defect and form a rebel force in the
revolt, Zaidi said.
Later on Friday, members of the slain officer's
Braghtha tribe fired rocket-propelled grenades
at the home of another prominent former rebel
they believed was behind the killing, according
to a security source. The home was empty at
The house belonged to Wissam Ben Hamid,
commander of the "Shield of Libya" brigade
made up of Islamist former rebels.
The group's headquarters were attacked in
June by protesters seeking to drive militias out
of the eastern city, sparking clashes in which
more than 30 people were killed.
Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising that
toppled Kadhafi's regime, but has since seen a
series of assassinations targeting officers in
the security services.
Other attacks have targeted Western interests
and diplomats, and much of the violence --
including the killing of US ambassador Chris
Stevens and three other Americans in an
attack on the US mission last year -- has been
attributed to radical Islamists.
The attacks have not been claimed and no
arrests have apparently been made.
Two years after the revolution, Libya's new
authorities have failed to establish a new army
and police force, and are still struggling to rein
in tribal militias and groups of former rebels.