Libya's Deputy Industry Minister, Hassan al-Darouei, was assassinated on Sunday, the first such killing of a transitional government official since the overthrow and execution of dictator Muammar Qaddafi two years ago.
According to reports, al-Darouei was exiting a store in a shopping area in Sirte, about 290 miles east of the capitol of Tripoli, when he was shot by unknown gunmen. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, and Reuters describes Sirte as "the last bastion of Qaddafi loyalists in the civil war."
Al-Darouei had joined the country's National Transitional Council even while Sirte continued to support Qaddafi. According to The New York Times, Islamic extremists still operate in the city:
Since then, however, Sirte has joined Benghazi and Darnah as theaters of operation for armed Islamist extremists. Some of the fighters from neighboring cities who occupied the city at the end of the rebellion reorganized themselves into the core of a militant group, Ansar al-Shariah of Sirte, an independent organization that shares its name with counterparts in Benghazi, Darnah and Tunisia.
Libya has suffered from sporadic violence during its transitional period following Qaddafi's death. In addition to various attacks targeting top army and security personnel, warring rival tribes in the south of the country killed 19 people and wounded another 20 on Saturday.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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