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Libyan minister escapes ‘assassination attempt’

A brazen gun attack in the Libyan capital Tripoli was well planned says the country’s Interior Minister.Fathi Bashagha told Reuters that the gunmen were trying to kill him.He escaped the alleged assassination attempt on his motorcade on Sunday (February 21) and explains what happened.”When we arrived in Janzour, a bullet-proof car approached us, a Toyota, known as a type 27 in Libya, it had an opening for gunfire. It started approaching the convoy, and it started shooting. My guard, who was very well trained, tried to push the car away and protect the minister, and move away from the convoy. The chase took place, and they continued to fire at us.”One of his guards and one of the attackers were killed in the firefight.Bashagha says his guards arrested two people, one of whom was wanted by police.Bashagha represents the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).The shoot-out comes as it prepares to make way for a new interim government selected in a U.N.-led process aimed at unifying Libya’s warring factions.The Stabilization Support Apparatus, an armed force set up by outgoing Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, says Bashagha’s guards had opened fire on one of its vehicles as it passed his convoy.In his role Bashagha has pledged to rein in armed groups that have held power on the ground in western Libya since a 2011 uprising.

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