Members of the Libyan Rapid intervention force unit patrol at a checkpoint in Benghazi on May 16, 2013
Members of the Libyan Rapid intervention force unit patrol at a checkpoint in Benghazi on May 16, 2013 © Abdullah Doma - AFP/File
Members of the Libyan Rapid intervention force unit patrol at a checkpoint in Benghazi on May 16, 2013
AFP
Last updated: May 26, 2014

Journalist gunned down in Libya's Benghazi

A newspaper editor and critic of Libya's jihadists was gunned down Monday in the lawless eastern city of Benghazi, an Islamist stronghold, medics said.

They said Meftah Bouzid, editor of the weekly newspaper Burniq, was shot dead in the centre of the Mediterranean city.

A journalist and analyst, Bouzid often went on television to criticise Islamic extremists, resulting in threats to his life according to a friend.

Libyan authorities have struggled to stamp out lawlessness in a country awash with weapons from the 2011 revolution which toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Ex-rebels, especially Islamists, have been blamed for deadly attacks on dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners in Benghazi, the city where the revolution was born.

Bouzid and his paper came out openly in support of a military drive launched on May 16 by renegade general Khalifa Haftar to crush Islamists in Benghazi, in a so-called "dignity" campaign.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a statement last week, voiced "deep concern about the fate of the country’s journalists, who are yet again the targets of violence."

It urged "all civilian, military and political actors ...to immediately end all attacks on civilians, including all journalists operating in Libya."

"News providers have a fundamental role to play in the new Libya, especially in the overall process of building a viable and democratic state for the long term," the France-based group said.

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