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Benghazi security chief escapes assassination attempt

The head of Benghazi’s Joint Security Room survived an assassination attempt on Monday (November 18th) after his motorcade was hit by a bomb blast.

A bodyguard of Colonel Abdallah al-Saati was killed in the attack. Al-Saati, who was not injured, took up the position just a month ago.

“I still have life and I won’t die until my hour comes,” al-Saati said after the bombing. “I won’t back down, and this attack will only make me stronger. I’m prepared to sacrifice my life for this country.”

Joint Security Room spokesman Abdullah Zaidi said that the colonel’s motorcade was targeted in the al-Hadaek area of Benghazi.

“Explosives experts are now examining the area to know how the motorcade was targeted and identify the quantity of used explosives, the sound of which was heard in most areas of the city,” the spokesman added.

Zaidi noted that a number of citizens’ vehicles and car sale shops were heavily damaged in the blast.

Before the incident, the city witnessed a period of relative calm after army forces were heavily deployed.

“I’m sad for what’s happening in Benghazi,” journalist Fatima al-Mariami told Magharebia.

“There is no state or sovereignty, as everything has become temporary. Even freedom has become temporary due to the proliferation of arms and various armed militias in view of failure of officials, absence of law and delay of constitution. Benghazi has paid the price for all that, and then came this strong blow to the men of Benghazi,” she added.

Meanwhile, Benghazi resident Ezzedine Shikhi praised what he said was courage on the part of al-Saati. “I was moved by Colonel al-Saati’s statements following the attempt on his life when he said his blood was a sacrifice for the country and that he wouldn’t back down.”

“We aren’t more honest than those who sacrificed their own lives for the country,” Shikhi added. “We’ll continue to perform our tasks. Libya wants only men who aren’t dissuaded by assassinations.”

According to Libyan Observatory for Human Rights founder Nasser al-Houari, the assassination attempt “came at a time when the popularity of Libyan army commanders grew, after the army deployed its forces in Benghazi streets, and after citizens supported army commanders and soldiers.”

“The name of al-Saati became known, and his and other army commanders’ determination to deal with murders and bombings and restore lost security to Benghazi became clear,” al-Houari told Magharebia.

“The departure of armed militias from the capital Tripoli will clearly help restore security and stability,” he continued. “The militias have been a source of great concern for the capital residents, and kidnappings and tortures at militias’ prisons can no longer be ignored.”

Al-Houari added that with the militias gone, the army and police could finally take the initiative to secure the city.

Article by Ali al-Gattani, Magharebia.

This article was originally published here.

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