Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Survives Vehicle Attack

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Libya’s deputy prime minister survived unhurt after gunmen fired on his car in Tripoli on Wednesday in an attack reflecting the violent chaos plaguing the North African nation two years after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall.

The Libyan government is struggling to contain dozens of unruly militias, former rebel brigades and militants who kept their guns after the NATO-backed revolt against Gaddafi in 2011.

Deputy Prime Minister Sadiq Abdulkarim said he had been attacked on his way from the Interior Ministry to the General National Congress assembly. He is also interim Interior Minister since the previous minister quit several months ago.

“I tell those who did it that Libya is bigger than you and Libya’s men will not be threatened by bullets, guns or rockets,” Abdulkarim said a two-minute statement on television.

The state news agency said he had not been wounded in the attack. Abdulkarim, who appeared healthy in his television appearance, said he had returned to work afterwards.

The identity of the attackers was unclear, an Interior Ministry official said.

Libya’s difficulties in asserting state authority worry Western powers which fear that violence in the OPEC country could spill over to its North African neighbors.

Parts of Libya are already effectively under the control of militias, armed tribesmen and Islamist militant groups.

Libya’s fledgling army and police, still in training, are no match for the militias that fought in the anti-Gaddafi uprising. The government has tried to co-opt them with state jobs but they often remain loyal to their commanders or local regions.

Security has deteriorated in recent months. More than 40 people were killed in fighting between rival groups and residents in Tripoli in October. Car bombs and assassinations have become part of daily life in the eastern city of Benghazi.

An armed blockade of three major eastern ports by a group demanding a greater share of oil wealth and more regional autonomy has choked off 600,000 barrels per day of oil exports.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government faces a budget crunch due to the blockade, now in its sixth month. Oil exports, Libya’s lifeline, have more than halved during the dispute.

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Russian Diplomat and Wife Stabbed in South Sudan

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 Russian diplomat and his wife were stabbed in Sudan’s capital on Tuesday by a man enraged by the death of his brother in strife-torn Central African Republic, Khartoum police said.

The attacker wounded the consul general and his wife, mistakenly believing they were from a nation that had sent troops to his home country, the force said in a statement.

Both were in a stable condition, it added.

Central African Republic, which borders Sudan, descended into chaos in March after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, marched into the capital, unleashing a wave of killings and looting.

Its former colonial ruler France has sent in troops to defend its citizens and back up African peacekeepers trying to contain the violence. The European Union has also promised to send in soldiers, but Russia has no troops on the ground.

The attacker told officers who arrested and questioned him that his brother had been killed “by forces from the one of the European countries,” the police said.

“There was no motive other than revenge for the death of the brother,” the police statement read.

The duty officer at Russia’s embassy in Khartoum said he could not comment and the Russian Foreign Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

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German Diplomats Survive Attack in East Saudi Arabia

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Two German diplomats survived an attack in eastern Saudi Arabia on Monday when gunmen opened fire and torched their car, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

“The police of Qatif was informed that a diplomatic car of the German embassy in the kingdom was fired at by gunmen in Awamya district,” SPA quoted a police spokesman.

It said the car was torched and the two Germans who were inside survived with the help of a resident.

The security authorities searching for the assailants, the SPA added.

Local authorities are investigating the incident. The foreign ministry in Berlin also confirmed the attack, according to Reuters news agency,

“In the incident the car came under fire and caught fire. There were no injuries,” a spokeswoman for the ministry told the German DPA news agency late on Monday.

The ministry did not comment on whether the diplomats were specifically targeted, but said the German embassy in the capital Riyadh was working with local authorities.