Suspended Libyan GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha arrives in Tripoli: Sources

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Fathi Bashagha, the suspended interior minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord, has arrived in Tripoli after his recent visit to Turkey, according to Al Arabiya sources.

The embattled Libyan Government of National Accord’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said on Friday he had temporarily removed his Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha pending an investigation.

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The GNA also announced the removal of Bashagha in a formal document on Friday, according to a tweet by the main media account of the GNA government verified on Twitter.

Bashagha made the trip to Turkey without Sarraj’s knowledge or approval, Al Arabiya sources confirmed.

The sources said his temporary suspension may be due to his attempted plot against Sarraj although the GNA said the official reasoning behind the decision was due to his ministry’s handling of the recent protests in Tripoli in which excessive use of force was used.

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“Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha has been temporarily suspended” and will face an inquiry “on his statements about the protests and incidents in Tripoli and other cities,” the GNA said Friday.

Demonstrations began last Sunday in Tripoli, the seat of the GNA, against poor public services and living conditions, and gunmen fired on the crowd. Similar shootings occurred on Monday and Wednesday.

Gunmen on Wednesday attacked a peaceful demonstration by “firing live ammunition indiscriminately,” Bashagha had said.