Air force officer shot dead by unknown assailants in Libya

Written by: IANS
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Air force officer killed in Libya
Tripoli, Oct 24: A senior officer of the Libyan Air Force was killed by unidentified assailants in the eastern city of Benghazi Thursday morning, Abdullah Zaidi, a spokesman of the joint operation security room for the city, told Xinhua.

Zaidi said the assailants shot Col. Adel Khalil Ataiwahani as he was leaving his home in Benghazi, adding the murder of Ataiwahani is the latest in a series of deadly attacks on members of the air force in the eastern Libyan city.

Unidentified gunmen Wednesday killed a security officer and a former political prisoner during Gaddafi's regime, who had announced Monday the arrest of "a terror cell" affiliated with the former regime. Osama Faitouri Ali was shot in the head in the Almajora area.

Three men from the security forces assigned to protect the barracks of battalion Garyounis February 17 were injured in an explosive attack during morning prayers Wednesday.

Zaidi said that unknown assailants threw explosive material at the gate of Garyounis 17 headquarters, leaving three people injured, one seriously.

Since the end of the eight-month fighting during the February uprising in 2011, the city of Benghazi, which was the catalyst for the protests which led to the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, has seen growing instability and violence.

The security situation has deteriorated, especially after the infamous attack on the US diplomatic mission in the city in September 2012 which resulted in the death of the American ambassador and three other staff members.

Security officers as well as political activists report kidnappings and murders happen regularly and have left a death toll of at least 100.

Assailants threw explosive material at the gate of Garyounis 17 headquarters

Two years after the National Transitional Council declared the liberation of Libya from the Gaddafi regime, the interim Libyan government still struggles to control the spread of weapons and militias.

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan recently called for NATO support to help implement a security strategy.

NATO announced Tuesday that an advisory team will soon be set up in Libya to assist the war-torn North African country address the growing insecurity.


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