Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni narrowly escaped an assassination attempt this week when gunmen fired at his convoy as it left the HoR in Tobruq. The Prime Minister had been attending a session in the House at which he was being questioned about his government’s performance. The session was interrupted after armed protestors who had been demonstrating against Al-Thinni threatened to storm the building and kill the Prime Minister. As Al-Thinni fled to the airport, his convoy was followed by men in armed cars who at them. Although no one has claimed responsibility, the attack seems to have been a manifestation of the growing divisions inside the Tobruq camp. Al-Thinni has claimed that the attack was not carried out by a terrorist group but by individuals who are “using political money to halt the democratic process.”
ISIS expansion in and around Sirte is a major blow for Operation Libya Dawn, and for those Misratan brigades who were sent to defeat the militant group. Notably Brigade 166, which was dispatched by the GNC in February to retake Sirte, has proved unable to contain, let alone to defeat the group. There was some confusion this week over the role that Brigade 166 is playing after it was reported to have pulled out of Sirte, complaining that the GNC was not supplying it with sufficient weaponry or military vehicles. However, one brigade field commander has refuted these claims, asserting that the Brigade pulled back in order to regroup and stating that it is fully intent on continuing the fight. Brigade 166 has also received further assistance in the form of a number of additional units that have been sent to the area as back up.
Benghazi remains subject to fierce fighting as Khalifa Haftar continues in his battle to try to oust militant elements from the city. Despite being in receipt of further weapons supplies, Haftar’s forces are making no real progress and continue to suffer losses at the hands of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council.
Although the south saw a lull in the violence this week between Tebu and Tuareg groups following mediation efforts led by Al-Thinni, clashes erupted in Obari again on 31 May, reflecting the enduring nature of Libya’s inter-communal conflicts that erupt with regularity given the prevailing security vacuum.