CAIRO — A senior Libyan security official was assassinated outside his home in the eastern city of Benghazi, officials said Wednesday, the same city where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed at their diplomatic compound in September. The Libyan official’s death was the latest in a series of mysterious killings that have raised fears about the country’s precarious postwar security.
The official, Faraj Mohammed al-Drissi, who had held the post of Benghazi’s security director for only a few weeks, was fatally shot late Tuesday night as he was returning from work, said Wanis al-Sharif, a local Interior Ministry official.
About 10 p.m., a Mitsubishi Lancer pulled up on al-Drissi’s street. Three men got out and opened fire, al-Sharif said, adding that the motive for the killing was unknown.
The killing was the latest blow for Benghazi, which has staggered since armed men attacked U.S. intelligence and diplomatic buildings in September, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff in an assault that upended the city’s fragile power structure.
The attack led to a popular revolt against the militias that have held sway since the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi last year, including hard-line Islamist groups, which have been criticized for being a law unto themselves.
It also led to closed hearings in the United States into how the Obama administration handled the attack, including questions by lawmakers about possible security lapses at the Benghazi compound.
Government officials loudly promised to assert the state’s control, while privately conceding that they were outgunned and incapable of fulfilling such a pledge.