Libya’s interim prime minister resigns

Abdallah al-Thinni claimed that he and his family had been the victims of a ‘traitorous attack’

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Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdallah al-Thinni resigned on Sunday, claiming that he and his family had been the victims of an armed attack the previous day, a statement said according to Agence France-Presse.

Without elaborating with further details, Thinni said the attack had terrorized inhabitants of a residential district and “put the lives of some of them at risk.”

A source close to the interim prime minister told AFP that the incident took place on the road from the capital to its airport and caused no casualties.

While Thinni’s statement said that he would no longer accept the position after the “traitorous attack,” the two-week-old prime minister added that he would remain in a caretaker capacity until the appointment of a new premier.

General National Council spokesman Hmidan said Thani would remain in office until the election of a new parliament, the date for which has not been set.

His predecessor, Ali Zeidan, was sacked for failing to rein in the lawlessness gripping the North African country. Zeidan, who himself was briefly abducted by a militia last year, subsequently fled to Europe citing security concerns.

Thinni, a 60-year-old retired army, colonel, was initially elected on a temporary basis meant only to last a few weeks. It was extended by the GNC last week on the condition he form a new government.

As premier, he was also faced with the daunting task of bringing former rebel brigades to heel following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ended Qaddafi’s rule.

If his resignation is accepted, the GNC must appoint another premier. The legislature, deeply unpopular with many Libyans who say it has failed to advance a transition to democracy, is deadlocked between Islamist and nationalist parties.

Libya has seen near daily attacks, particularly in the restive east, as well as a challenge from rebels who blockaded vital oil terminals for nine months, and a growing political crisis stemming from the interim parliament’s decision to extend its mandate.

(With AFP)