BENGHAZI, Libya - Libya's internationally recognized prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, said on Tuesday he had survived an assassination attempt by gunmen who opened fire as he was leaving a session of the anarchic country's elected parliament.
The incident highlighted the unravelling of state authority in the North African country in which two governments and parliaments allied to armed factions are fighting for control four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
Thinni has faced increasing criticism for running an ineffective rump state in the east since losing the capital Tripoli in the west to a rival faction that now controls ministries and key state bodies based there.
Thinni told pan-Arab news channel al-Arabiya that after he left parliament in the town of Tobruk and drove off, gunmen in several cars followed his entourage and opened fire.
"We were surprised by a lot of bullets... Thank God, we managed to escape," Thinni said, adding that one bodyguard had been wounded.
He did not elaborate but his cabinet said in a statement the gunmen had been "paid criminals" who had previously tried storming parliament.