Freelance journalist killed amid new round of Libya clashes
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A freelance journalist who contributed to The Associated Press and other news organizations was killed Saturday in the Libyan capital, a colleague said.
Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was in his 30s, was hit by shrapnel while accompanying a militia patrolling the Qaser Bin Ghashir area south of Tripoli, said Hamza Turkia, also a freelance journalist.
The militia came under attack by another armed group, said Turkia. He said there was gunfire, and that a missile was also fired.
Ben Khalifa, a photographer and video journalist, is survived by his wife and a 7-month-old daughter, another colleague said.
A new round of fighting between rival militias erupted earlier this week, killing 13 people and wounding more than 50, according to the Libyan Health Ministry.
The clashes shattered a U.N.-brokered cease-fire reached in September. A bout of violence last year killed nearly 100 people.
The fighting between militias allied with Libya’s U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and an armed group from a nearby town underscores Libya’s lingering lawlessness since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The energy-rich North African nation is governed by rival authorities in Tripoli and the country’s east, each of which is backed by an array of militias.
This story corrects attribution in the 4th paragraph.