Daesh plot to assassinate PM al-Sarraj foiled, Libya's intelligence says

Published 20.08.2016 00:00
Updated 20.08.2016 18:16

Libya's intelligence service said it has foiled a Daesh plot to assassinate Prime Minister of the unity government, Fayez al-Sarraj, in the capital Tripoli.

"The intelligence service has recently arrested the head of a Daesh cell who was planning an operation in the government headquarters when al-Sarraj is inside," the intelligence chief, Mustafa Noah, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

He identified the detained Daesh operative as Abu Moaz al-Ansari, a Libyan national.

"He was assigned with carrying out the operation, but the intelligence service managed to abort it," he said, without elaborating.

Since May, forces aligned with the UN-backed unity government have been battling Daesh militants in the coastal city of Sirte.

Libyan government forces have reported major gains against the militant group in Sirte, which Daesh overran in 2015.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the country's stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli, each of which boasts its own military capacity and legislative assembly.

Late last year, Libya's rival governments signed a UN-sponsored agreement that established a national unity government. The UN-backed unity government, however, has remained beset by difficulties and has yet to apply its governing mandate across the troubled North African country.

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