Published: Wed, December 26, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Three dead in Libya's foreign ministry attack in Tripoli

Three dead in Libya's foreign ministry attack in Tripoli

Islamic State claimed a suicide attack on the Libyan Foreign Ministry's headquarters in Tripoli that officials said killed three people, in the latest blow to efforts to stabilize the war-ravaged North African nation.

A Reuters witness saw smoke coming out of the building.

In a reflection of the state of affairs in the country, Bashagha, who is one of the leaders of Misrata, a city home to one of the most powerful militias, said that some foreign government reach out directly to various militias on security matters instead of contacting the ministry.

A auto bomb exploded near the ministry, prompting security forces to rush to the scene, said special forces spokesman Tarak al-Dawass.

The three attackers began their assault with a auto bomb, damaging vehicles and buildings, and then opened fire on the ministry, a security source said.

Libya has been a haven for Islamic militants since the toppling of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

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Syrian Air Defenses intercepted and downed most of the missiles, with damage limited to the depot, the agency reported. Lebanon's National News Agency reported Israeli Air Force planes were operating over southern Lebanon.

After eight months of fighting, forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord regained control of the city.

Since then, some militants have returned to the desert in an attempt to regroup and reorganise.

The US, which had supported armed extremists against Gaddafi's government but has since appeared uninterested in the fractured state's fate, condemned the attack, somewhat ironically, stressing that it supports Libya's struggle against terrorism as the country continues to "work towards a prosperous, stable, and secure" future.

In September, IS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the headquarters of Libya's National Oil Company in the heart of Tripoli which left two dead and 10 wounded.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of the terror group.

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