According to Al Arabiya TV and Al Hadath TV, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah escaped uninjured from an assassination attempt when unidentified individuals shot at his car in the capital Tripoli.
According to the Al Arabiya channel, several gunshots were fired at Dbeibah’s automobile, and the assailants managed to flee the scene.
It was a definite assassination attempt, according to a person close to him, amid heated factional bickering over control of the administration.
Dbeibah was returning home when shots were fired from another vehicle that fled, according to the source, who requested anonymity. The matter was sent to the prosecutor general for inquiry.
If true, such an attempt would further the control issue in Libya, where Dbeibah has stated that he will ignore a vote to replace him scheduled by the eastern-based parliament later on Thursday.
Since the NATO-backed rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has seen little peace or stability, and it split in 2014 between fighting factions in the east and west.
Dbeibah was installed in March as leader of the U.N.-backed Government of National Unity (GNU) that was expected to reconcile the country’s split institutions and oversee the run-up to an election in December as part of a peace process.
After the election process collapsed due to arguments over the regulations, rival factions have been jockeying for power, including over the legality of Dbeibah’s own presidential campaign after he swore not to run.
The parliament, which largely supported eastern forces during the civil war, has declared the GNU null and void, and will vote on a new prime minister on Thursday in order to form a new government.
In an address this week, Dbeibah stated that he would only relinquish power after an election, while the UN’s Libya envoy and Western governments have stated that they continue to recognize the GNU.
The parliament’s decision to appoint a new prime minister might lead to a reversion to the situation before Dbeibah’s unity government was established, with rival administrations vying for control of Libya from separate cities.
However, observers believe that this will not necessarily result in a return to civil conflict.