By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 6 March 2013:
More details are emerging today of last night’s attack on a vehicle carrying GNC President Mohamed . . .[restrict]Magarief as he left the Congress building.
It appears that because of the gathering crowds of protestors outside, Magarief or his security advisers decided that he should abandon his distinctive armour-plated black Mercedes 500 and travel with members of his bodyguard detail in their Toyota Land Cruiser. The vehicle picked him up from a minor entrance of the the Meteorological institute in Crimea district south of Tripoli.
As it left the compound, the Toyota clearly came under a fusillade of gunfire from both sides as well as head on. The bullets smashed the side rear windows but failed to penetrate a second internal glass shield. The window glass was only slightly tinted, so the attackers would have been able to see the GNC president inside the vehicle. The tyres were shot out and bullets lodged in the armoured bodywork. No one inside, including Magarief, sustained any injuries. However those who have been caught up in similar attacks, testify to the horror of the experience. Despite having the run-flat tyres shredded by the gunfire, the driver of the Toyota was able to keep the vehicle moving and escape the attackers.
The identity of the gunmen remains unknown. None of the security forces guarding the GNC meeting returned fire and no one was detained. Following this latest attack, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan announced that personal security for government ministers and members of the GNC was being stepped up.