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Libyan military prosecutor assassinated - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Benghazi residents and Libyan security forces gather around a burning car after an explosion killed the military prosecutor for Western Libya Yussef Ali Al-Asseifar on August 29, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ABDULLAH DOMA)

Benghazi residents and Libyan security forces gather around a burning car after an explosion killed the military prosecutor for Western Libya, Yussef Ali Al-Asseifar, on August 29, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ABDULLAH DOMA)

Cairo/Tripoli, Asharq Al-Awsat—Libyan military prosecutor Col. Yussef Ali Al-Asseifar was killed in a blast targeting his car on Thursday.

According to eyewitnesses, Asseifar died when a bomb planted in his car went off.

The Libyan colonel died at the scene, although his brother survived.

Asseifar had served as Libya’s military prosecutor since February 2011, and he was in charge of most of the assassination cases that targeted politicians, members of the military, and journalists in Benghazi.

A Libyan source speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity considered what happened as a clear message from those who seek to create a state of chaos and instability in Benghazi.

“There is a major security weakness for which the current government is responsible,” the source said.

The source added: “Benghazi is going through a very difficult time and assassinations will not stop before a thorough security strategy is implemented.”

Interim Prime Minister Ali Zeidan pledged to catch the perpetrators of Thursday’s attack.

Zeidan’s increasing ‘intervention’ in the country’s security file prompted the Libyan interior minister Mohammed Al-Sheikh to resign.

Zeidan also emphasized he would remain in office despite the protests organized in front of the parliament and General National Congress (GNC) demanding his resignation.

In separate news, the head of the Zintan Brigade, Mukhtar Al-Akhdar, told Asharq Al-Awsat that it is better that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi remain in detention in Zintan for security reasons.

Saif Al-Islam was supposed to face trial in Tripoli.

According to Akhdar, former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son is being kept by the Zintan Brigade in a heavily guarded facility and his detention is under government supervision.

Akhdar said that Saif Al-Islam is being treated well. “He is normal and does not have any medical problems,” Akhdar said.

The Zintan Brigade has been accused of refusing to hand Saif Al-Islam over to the Libyan authorities and of imposing conditions on putting him on trial in Tripoli.

However, Akhdar denied such “false claims aimed at damaging the reputation of the rebels and offending them.”

“We are a part of the Libyan people and proud of our role in eliminating the former regime,” he said. “We do not have any aspirations and we have never bargained with the government.”