Susa - Radical Islamists have killed three Libyan policemen in a raid on
their checkpoint near a coastal town east of second city Benghazi,
police and medical officials said on Wednesday.
"The three men
died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest," a medical official told
AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that a fourth was in critical
Residents said the four men had been stationed at a
checkpoint at the western gate of Susa, which lies in the Green
Mountains, about 260km east of Benghazi.
They were attacked
overnight while performing their duties, residents and a police officer
said, pinning responsibility on hardline Islamists.
investigations suggest that extremists were behind these acts," said
Nasser Zayed, who heads the police force of the Green Mountains
district. He condemned the targeting of security personnel.
A massive funeral procession for the three men cut across the town in the wake of afternoon prayers.
incident marks the latest in a string of attacks focused on the army
and police forces, which the government has been trying to empower after
mass rallies against militias made up of former rebels.
Friday, demonstrators lobbed hand grenades at security forces and
trashed cars after a rally in support of a hardline Salafist group that
was evicted from the city last month.
Professional army officers
members of the newly created National Mobile Forces were wounded on
Monday when their car was hit by a grenade during a patrol in south
Benghazi, the LANA news agency reported.
The extremist group
Ansar al-Sharia and members of Raf Allah Sahati, an Islamist brigade
that came under attack from protesters in Benghazi despite its links to
the defence ministry, blame security forces for their downfall.
al-Sharia has been accused of but denied involvement in a September
11-12 assault on the US consulate in the city which killed Ambassador
Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Under pressure at home
and abroad to tackle insecurity, Libyan authorities have sought to
disband armed formations which have failed to register with the
ministries of defence and interior.
They have also moved to place
professional army officers at the head of government-sanctioned
brigades comprising former rebels who fought to oust Muammar Gaddafi