MANILA – Filipinos in Libya were advised to remain vigilant and avoid unnecessary business outside their homes following an assassination attempt on Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga in Janzour last Feb. 21.
In an advisory dated Feb. 22, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli urged all Filipinos in the Libyan capital “to go on a heightened level of vigilance.”
“Kababayan are advised to avoid unnecessary movement and to remain indoors as much as possible. Kababayan are requested to monitor the Kapulungan for further advisories and to contact the Embassy in case of emergency,” it said.
Bashaga, the Interior chief of Libya’s United Nations-recognized government, survived what was described as a “militant attack” on his convoy west of Tripoli.
According to reports, an armored vehicle opened fire on the official’s convoy, where one of his guards was wounded.
Two of the assailants were arrested while one was killed.
UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ján Kubiš condemned the attack, saying it poses “threats to stability and security and may derail the political process and other efforts in support of Libya, its people”.
The ambush came weeks after Libya agreed to establish a transitional government tasked to lead the country until the elections later this year.
The North African state has been in a state of turmoil since the fall of its former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and is essentially divided between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar. (PNA)