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Libyan journalist shot dead in Benghazi

BENGHAZI: A Libyan television journalist involved in coverage of fighting between Islamist militias and pro-government forces in the second city of Benghazi has been assassinated, officials and witnesses said Thursday.

Muftah al-Qatrani, director of the private production company Al-Anwar, was killed by a gunshot to the head on Wednesday, an interior ministry official told AFP.

“Friends who visited his office found him dead on a chair, covered in blood,” the official said, adding that an inquiry had been launched into the killing.

A witness, who declined to be named, said the producer’s office was in the centre of Benghazi.

“No neighbours or surrounding businesses had any idea what had happened and no weapon was found near the body,” the witness said.

Libya’s descent into chaos since its 2011 uprising has seen the formation of rival parliaments and governments, and allowed the Islamic State extremist group to gain a foothold in the oil-rich North African state.

Militias have battled forces in Benghazi loyal to Libyan army chief Khalifa Haftar, who launched an assault last May aimed at recapturing the eastern city from Islamists. (AFP)

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