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Libya journo escapes assassination bid

13 August 2013, 14:53

Benghazi - A journalist at a private Libyan television channel narrowly survived an assassination attempt in the restive eastern city of Benghazi on Monday, a colleague working for the Libya al-Ahrar TV network told AFP.

"Khadija al-Ammami, director of Libya al-Ahrar's Benghazi office, was shot at several times when she was in her car on the way to her office," journalist Rajeb Mohamed Ibliblou said.

Ammami "miraculously" survived the hail of bullets fired by unidentified gunmen, he added.

She later received telephone threats that she would be killed next time.

Ammami had received three previous death threats, said Ibliblou.

Libya al-Ahrar TV was created during the revolt that toppled the country's longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The channel is based in Doha, Qatar.

The attack came three days after a Libyan doctor who hosted a television programme on human development was shot dead by unknown gunmen also in Benghazi, Libya's second city.

Azzedine Koussos, a presenter for Libya Al-Hurra television, was hit by several rounds as he sat in his parked car near a blood bank in Benghazi's Sidi Hussein district after weekly Muslim prayers.

Attacks and kidnappings

Koussos had worked for Radio al-Manara FM before joining Al-Hurra, the country's leading private TV channel, also created after the 2011 revolution.

His programme had no political connotations, journalists in Benghazi said.

Libyan media and journalists have been the targets in recent months of attacks and kidnappings by militias.

In May, international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RFS) called on the authorities to rein in allied militia it said were responsible for detaining journalists.

Since the 2011 uprising, the central government has struggled to tame the former rebel groups that toppled Gaddafi.

A journalist with an international news agency was arrested by members of a militia in broad daylight in Benghazi on 20 May, RFS said.

A photographer was detained for several hours on 28 May by militiamen nominally under the command of the defence ministry, it added.



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