(CNN) —  

The chief of military intelligence for Benghazi, Col. Fathallah al-Gzairi, was assassinated Friday in the city of Derna by unidentified assailants who opened fire on him from a vehicle, a relative told the state-run Libyan News Agency.

The officer died before reaching the hospital.

Al-Gzairi, who was visiting relatives in the city, his hometown, was appointed to the job only a few days ago.

Assassinations have spiked in eastern Libya as security has deteriorated in the area and anger against Islamist groups has grown.

CNN’s Tim Lister contributed to this report.