Libyan Prime Minister early on Thursday survived an apparent assassination attempt by unknown assailants, a source close to him said, amid intense factional wrangling over control of the government.
The assailants struck Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s car with several rounds of bullets as he was returning home driving through the capital, Tripoli. The gunmen fled the scene and the incident has been referred for investigation, the source said.
The assassination attempt could aggravate the crisis over control of Libya by rival factions after the prime minister said he will ignore a vote scheduled by the eastern-based parliament later on Thursday to replace him.
Dbeibah has said he will ignore the outcome of the ballot and would only hand over power after an election and the U.N.’s Libya adviser and Western countries have said they continue to recognise the GNU.
He has repeatedly said the transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) that he heads remains valid despite the collapse in December of a planned election process, and has rejected moves by the parliament to take control of it.
The parliament said this week that no elections would be held this year, after it and another political body amended the country’s temporary constitution, dismaying the many Libyans who had registered to vote.
An election to choose a new government was postponed last December.