Libya crisis: Head of Tripoli police 'assassinated'

Photo of Colonel Muhammad Suwaysi, taken from official facebook page of NSD-T Col Muhammad Suwaysi was appointed head of Tripoli's police in 2012

The head of police in the Libyan capital Tripoli has been killed by unknown gunmen.

Col Muhammad Suwaysi was shot while leaving a meeting in Tajoura, a suburb in the east of the capital.

Two of his colleagues were also taken captive, the interior ministry said.

Libya has been gripped by violence involving militias that spearheaded the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. Thousands have been forced to flee recent fighting in Tripoli.

More than three years after the uprising, Libya's police and army remain weak in comparison to the militias who control large parts of the country.

'Hard-working man'

The official Facebook page of the National Security Directorate of Tripoli said that Col Suwaysi had been assassinated.

Interior ministry spokesman Rami Kaal told the BBC that the police chief had been in Tajoura for a meeting with local authorities.

"On his way back from Tajoura, their vehicle was ambushed at a traffic light by two cars with armed men," he said.

"Col Suwaysi refused to get out of the car, and the men shot at the car - he died of a bullet to the head."

Two of Col Suwaysi's colleagues complied with orders to leave the car and were kidnapped, he said.

Mr Kaal described Col Suwaysi as "a friend and a good, hard-working man".

Several hundred people are believed to have died in July and August in an upsurge of unrest.

The fighting has been centred around the international airport in Tripoli and in the eastern city of Benghazi.

More on This Story

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.