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Libyan journalist shot as militants target media in Benghazi

August 13, 2013

By Chris Stephen in Tripoli

A guard checks cars for bombs outside a mosque as the security situation worsens in Libya's second city, Benghazi Photograph: Mohammed Elshaiky//Xinhua Press/Corbis

A guard checks cars for bombs outside a mosque as the security situation worsens in Libya’s second city, Benghazi Photograph: Mohammed Elshaiky//Xinhua Press/Corbis

A third journalist in four days has been targeted by gunmen in Benghazi,Libya‘s second city, amid fears that extremists are trying to silence the media.

Khawlija al-Amami, a presenter for the al-Ahrar TV station, was shot at by gunmen who pulled up to her car, on Monday. The bullets missed but hours later the gunmen texted her a warning to “stop your journalism” or be killed.

The attack follows Friday’s killing of TV presenter Izzaldin Qasaad, a critic of the rising tide of violence, who was shot dead as he left a Benghazi mosque. On Saturday, another reporter was shot and wounded in Ajdabiya, south of the city.

Reporters without Borders, which warned earlier this year that Libyan journalists were being targeted by extremists, said: “This heinous crime marks a serious and regrettable turning point in Libya’s difficult transition.”

Human Rights Watch called on the Libyan government to hunt down the perpetrators, claiming the judiciary has failed to investigate 51 political assassinations, most of them in Benghazi, since the end of the Arab Spring revolution in 2011.

The killings come against a background of rising violence across the country. In eastern Libya, security forces are locked in a tit-for-tat war against Islamists. On Monday, two soldiers were shot dead when their military vehicle was ambushed in Sirte . Read more in The Guardian.

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