TRIPOLI : Colonel Mohamed al-Suissi, chief of police in Tripoli, was gunned down by unidentified attackers in the Libyan capital’s eastern suburbs on Tuesday, a security source told AFP.
“Colonel al-Suissi was assassinated by a group of unknown hooded, armed people. Two men with him were kidnapped in the attack,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
Suissi had taken part in a meeting of Tajura municipal council in the eastern suburbs and was on his way back to Tripoli city centre when the attack took place, the source said. State news agency Lana confirmed the assassination and said Colonel Suissi died shortly after arrival at a nearby clinic. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Since the fall of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, the interim authorities have failed to establish order and security in a country prone to anarchy and deadly violence.
They have been unable to restrain a large number of militias formed by ex-rebels who fought Kadhafi and who still hold sway across Libya.
However, though the army and law enforcement services are regularly targeted in the eastern city of Benghazi, such attacks are rare in Tripoli.
The killing of the police chief comes at a time of clashes between rival militias in the Libyan capital, centred on the international airport.