TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya’s military said Sunday that ex-rebels have tried for a second time to assassinate the country’s new army commander, as the two groups clashed near the capital’s airport. The rebels denied the claim.
Army spokesman Sgt. Abdel-Razik el-Shibahy said fighters from the western mountain town of Zintan opened fire on two occasions on Saturday on the convoy of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the commander of the newly rebuilt army. He said guard was killed and four others wounded in the second attack.
The spokesman said the Zintan fighters mistakenly believed that the army was coming to attack them at the airport, which they have occupied shortly after revolutionaries captured the capital from Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in August.
“Zintan rebels opened fire on the convoy from left, right and front … They think that the army wants to take over the airport but this is not the case,” he said.
The clashes were the latest in a series of violent incidents in the capital that illustrate the difficulties faced by Libya’s transitional leaders in compelling the militias which overthrew Gadhafi to submit to the new government’s authority.
Note by the editor: Why do I always have to be right with my ‘hunches’? I was afraid this will happen … (that ‘democracy’ will take quite some time to ‘take hold’ …)