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Officials: Commander wanted by int'l court killed in Libya

Officials: Commander wanted by int'l court killed in Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libyan officials said armed men Wednesday shot dead a military commander wanted by the International Criminal Court in an eastern city.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a commander in the self-styled Libyan Arab Armed Forces, was killed by assailants who opened fire on his car in a busy street in Benghazi, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Al-Werfalli’s brother was wounded in the attack, they said.

Al-Werfalli was wanted by the ICC for his alleged role in executing or ordering the executions of 33 captives in the eastern city of Benghazi in 2016 and 2017. The ICC says the executions were filmed and posted on social media.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which underscored the fragility of the conflict-stricken country. It comes after a transitional government took power last week with the job of leading the country out of years of war and to elections, scheduled for December.

Following the attack, there was a heightened presence of security forces in Benghazi, with residents across the city saying they heard gun shots.

Since 2011, Libya has descended into chaos and has become a haven for Islamic militants and armed groups.

The North African country has not brought any suspects before the International Criminal Court in the 10 years since it was referred to the ICC by the U.N. Security Council.

The allegations have centered on suspected crimes committed either during the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, or the civil war that followed.

Others wanted by the ICC are Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the late dictator’s son, as well as Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, former head of Libya’s Internal Security Agency.