x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Benghazi police chief assassinated

Faraj Al Deirsy gunned down in front of his home while returning from work.

BENGHAZI, LIBYA // A top security official in Benghazi was killed in front of his home in the early morning yesterday, security officials said.

Faraj Al Deirsy, head of Benghazi police, died from multiple gunshot wounds, police and interior ministry sources said. He was shot dead while returning from work.

"Three men opened fire, killed him and then fled the scene," Omar Al Khadrawi, the deputy interior minister, said, adding that it was unclear who is behind the killing.

Libya has been hit by persistent instability since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi last year. Authorities are still trying to disarm numerous groups, mostly militias who took part in the uprising, who refuse to lay down their weapons.

Yesterday's incident was one of a number of attacks in Benghazi, where local groups have also staged protests demanding more powers for eastern Libya and objecting to what they say is the central authorities' neglect of the region.

In September, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

The uprising against Qaddafi began in Benghazi in February, 2011.

* With additional reporting by Associated Press