April 18, 2018 / 2:48 PM / a month ago

Eastern Libyan military chief of staff survives car bomb attack

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A car bomb hit the convoy of the chief of staff of the eastern Libyan military outside Benghazi on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding at least two other people, though he himself survived, security and military officials said.

Abdel-Razeq Nathouri was travelling from Benghazi to his base in al-Marj, a small eastern town, when his convoy was hit some 20 km (12 miles) outside Benghazi.

Nathouri, in a video which his office said was recorded after he had returned to his base, said a plot to assassinate him had failed.

Nathouri is chief of staff to forces run by Khalifa Haftar, who has been receiving medical treatment in Paris, a French source said on Friday, confirming earlier reports from Libyan officials and media.

No more details have been provided on the treatment of Haftar, whose forces control much of eastern Libya — home to some of the country’s biggest oilfields.

Haftar, a possible contender in national elections that could be held by the end of 2018, has built his reputation on delivering stability in Benghazi and beyond, promising to halt the anarchy that ensued after a NATO-backed uprising ended Muammar Gaddafi’s long rule nearly seven years ago.

Haftar launched his military campaign in Benghazi in May 2014 in response to a series of bombings and assassinations blamed on Islamist militants.

He declared victory in July but bombings hit two mosques this year in the port city.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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