Misrata council member murdered
[Libya Herald] A member of Misrata local council was murdered today, Saturday, as he was leaving a city centre mosque after Dhuhr prayers. According to eyewitnesses, two men in a Hyundai Sonata car shot at Sheikh Mohamed Ben Othman at around 1.30pm as he left the Ras Amar mosque. The mosque is by the main polyclinic, Mujama Ayadat, in central Misrata.

It is the fourth significant killing in the city in just under a fortnight, and the third in three days. On 15 January, the imam of Misrata's Omar Ibn Khatab mosque, Sheikh Fakhri Hussein Jahani was killed when a grenade was thrown at him as he was leaving the mosque after Maghreb (sunset) prayers.

On Wednesday night, shortly after 10 pm, three grenades were thrown from a passing car at a security building in the town, killing one man, named as Wahib Karim, and wounding two others, one of them seriously. The building serves as a joint command and communications centre for the SSC, the Libya Shield and local security forces.

Shortly afterwards, a police officer, named as Walid Shahoot was killed when his patrol was shot at in the city.

Earlier this month two Egyptian Christians were killed when a Coptic church in Dafniya outside Misrata was bombed.

The latest victim who represented the Azzarouq district, had been active on the council and was involved in particular in the reconciliation process. He was a member of the Moslem Brüderbund.

His killing has stunned Misratans. The city has until now has been a model of law and order in Libya and Ben Othman was regarded as a conscientious and hardworking figure, although respect for Misrata local council has been falling in recent weeks because of splits and its limited achievements. The head of the local council, Salim Beit Almal, also a member of the Brotherhood, resigned earlier this month, the second council leader to quit in 11 months.

Posted by: Fred 2013-01-27