Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Al-Dbeibeh, leader of the Government of National Unity, has survived an attempted assassination, media reports said early on Thursday morning.
According to an Al-Arabiya correspondent, the prime minister’s car was beset by a hail of bullets, three of which struck his car. However, Dbeibeh has reportedly emerged unharmed.
The outlet said the attackers had not been caught or identified.
The attack comes just hours before Libyans are due to vote for a new government in an election delayed since December. Ahead of that vote, Dbeibeh’s office was besieged by gunmen after a powerful militia declared its opposition to the vote.
“I will not allow new transitional periods. We will not retreat from our role in government that we pledged to the people until elections are achieved,” Dbeibeh said in a speech Tuesday.
If the vote goes ahead, just two of the seven candidates who have declared themselves, Fathi Bashagha and Khaled al-Bibas, will actually appear on the ballot, as the rest reportedly did not complete the necessary paperwork.
The vote is opposed by the Libyan parliament in Tobruk, which has largely stood against the governments in Tripoli since the 2011 overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi by a NATO-backed uprising, which was followed by a long civil war.
Earlier this week, the parliament said it would name a new prime minister and lay out the format for an interim government and elections in 2023. Dbeibeh is unlikely to yield, creating a new situation with two rival governments, as existed before his appointment by a UN-moderated process last year.