BENGHAZI, Libya, Nov 2, 2012 (AFP) -
BENGHAZI, Libya, Nov 2, 2012 (AFP) –
A Libyan cleric was murdered on Friday in the eastern city of Benghazi while on the way to his mosque to make the call for dawn prayers, an interior ministry official told AFP.
“Unidentified gunmen shot Sheikh Abdullah al-Fussay in front of the Abu Ayyub al-Ansari” mosque, said a spokesman for the interior ministry’s branch in Benghazi.
The ministry of religious affairs had appointed the 70-year-old cleric to the mosque where students could learn to memorise the Koran. Religious figures had so far been spared the wave of assassinations rocking east Libya.
Dozens of officials with ties to the regime of toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi have been killed in killings widely believed to be reprisal attacks by Islamist extremists released from jail.
On Wednesday, a former member of the slain dictator’s revolutionary committee was killed in the eastern city of Derna, a hotbed of hardline Islamists who reject democracy as being Western.
Libyan extremists have historically concentrated in the east of the country and dispatched fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria.
They have been blamed for a September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens.