TRIPOLI, March 14 (Xinhua) — Abdarrahman Swehli, the Head of Libya’s Tripoli-based Higher Council of State, has survived an assassination attempt while he was on a trip to southwestern Libya, the council’s media office said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The media office of the Higher Council of State informs that the head of the Council, Dr. Abdarrahman Swehli, and his accompanying delegation were ambushed and shot at during his visit to the cities of Gharian and Yefren on Wednesday by an armed gang belonging to Dignity Operation in the area of Thaher al-Jabal,” the statement said.
“The council’s security personnel, in cooperation with the security department of Gharian and the western military zone, dealt with them and forced them to flee,” the statement added.
Two of the council’s security personnel were injured and 4 members of Gharian security department were kidnapped, the statement said, confirming that Swehli continued his visit despite the incident.
There are clear differences between the council and the eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, as the council does not recognize Haftar as the commander of the national army, which controls some western cities and towns.
Libya remains politically divided between eastern and western authorities, despite the UN-sponsored peace agreement signed by the Libyan political factions later in 2015.