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Libya's Military Police Chief Shot Dead In Benghazi: Reports

10/18/2013 8:19 PM ET

Libya's military police chief, Colonel Mustapha al-Barghathi, has been shot dead by masked gunmen in the eastern city of Benghazi, media reports citing local officials said Friday.

According to officials, Barghathi was gunned down outside his home in Benghazi as he was heading to the mosque to attend Friday prayers. They said the attack was carried out by masked gunmen, who escaped after shooting down Barghathi.

Barghathi was the head of Libyan military police's investigative division. No group has claimed responsibility for his killing yet.

Barghathi had earlier served in the Libyan army during the reign of the deposed leader Col. Muammar Qadhafi. He was one of the first army officers to defect and take up arms against the Qadhafi regime in the 2011 uprising.

Incidentally, Benghazi was the birthplace of Libya's armed revolt that eventually ousted the Qadhafi regime in August 2011. Nevertheless, the city has since witnessed several bomb and gun attacks.

Qadhafi was captured and shot dead on October 20, 2011 by revolutionary fighters on the outskirts of his hometown Sirte. The country is currently being governed by a new government that emerged from the July 2012 elections.

But most of the country is still controlled by militias that fought the Qadhafi regime, despite serious efforts by the current government to bring them under its authority. Their continued presence in Libya even after the civil war has raised concerns about the possible outbreak of further violence in the oil-rich North African nation.

by RTT Staff Writer

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