Libya’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Hassan al-Darole was shot dead on 11 January in the city of Sirte, the first member of the transitional government to be killed.

Al-Darole was killed near the Mekmdad market in central Sirte following evening prayers, by unknown gunmen.

He had been a member of the National Transitional Council (NTC) which was formed during the 2011 revolution and governed Libya until elections were held in mid-2012. Al-Darole was then appointed to the cabinet by the then prime minister Abdel Rahim al-Keib and retained by the current premier, Ali Zeidan.

Politically motivated killings have become relatively common in the east of Libya, particularly in Benghazi, but have previously targeted military and security figures. Al-Darole’s death marks the first assassination of a member of the transitional government. 

The deteriorating security environment and the government’s inability to reign in militia groups has led the General National Congress (GNC) to debate a planned no confidence vote in Ali Zeidan’s leadership.