A source close to Libyan Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba told Reuters that the PM escaped unharmed from an alleged assassination attempt. Gunmen reportedly opened fire at his vehicle in the early hours of Thursday.
The source stated that the incident occurred when Dbaiba was returning to his home, describing it as a clear assassination attempt. The attackers fled, and the incident was referred for investigation, he noted.
Al-Jazeera later showed footage of the bullet-ridden vehicle. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the authenticity of the photos, and did not speak to other witnesses after the incident.
This alleged assassination attempt, if confirmed, would exacerbate the crisis over control of Libya. The PM has rejected a planned vote by the Libyan Parliament to replace his government.
Armed forces have amassed more fighters and equipment in the capital over the past weeks, raising fears of fighting due to the political crisis.
Dbaiba was appointed in March as head of the UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNU). This was tasked with uniting the country’s divided institutions, and overseeing the run-up to elections scheduled for December 2021.
Rival factions continue to vie for power after the electoral process collapsed, amid legal disputes. As well as the legitimacy of Dbaiba’s candidacy for the Presidency, after previously pledging not to run.
Notably, the PM said in a speech this week that he would not hand over power until after elections.