Minister resigns over shrine attacks


Libya’s interior minister Fawzi Abdel A’al resigned yesterday after he was criticised for failing to halt a surge of attacks on Sufi Muslim shrines that have raised fears of the spread of sectarian violence following the fall of Col Muammar Gadafy.

Attackers, described as ultra-conservative Islamists by some officials, bulldozed sites sacred to Sufi Muslims in the city of Zlitan on Friday and the capital Tripoli on Saturday.

Libyan police surrounded the men as they levelled the large Sha’ab mosque in broad daylight the centre of Tripoli, but did not move in to stop them, a Reuters reporter said.

Libya’s newly-elected assembly held an emergency meeting yesterday and criticised government security forces for failing to stop the attacks. – (Reuters)