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Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

Libya's health ministry stated that at least nine people were wounded in the attack, which is suspected to have been carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, according to a security source, who requested not to be named.

The three jihadists began their assault with a auto bomb, damaging cars and buildings, and then opened fire on the ministry.

Two assailants detonated their suicide vests inside the ministry and the third was killed by ministry guards, Reuters reported.

Smoke rises shortly after an attack on the foreign ministry building, in Tripoli, Libya, on December 25.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Taher Siala was safe, a ministry employee said.

Interior Minister Fathi Bash Agha admitted during a news conference that "security chaos" reigned in Libya and was "out of our control".

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Libya has been a haven for Islamic militants since a 2011 uprising toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015 but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by USA airstrikes.

Bach Agha said he found "zero weapons and zero vehicles" in the ministry's warehouses when he took up his job in October.

"We will work with the Libyan people to prevent terrorist groups from turning Libya into a haven or an arena for their crimes", said Ghassan Salame, the United Nations special envoy to Libya.

In the aftermath of Qaddafi's ousting and eventual death, two rival governments and parliaments emerged: one in Tripoli led by Khalifa Haftar and the other in the eastern city of Tobruk led by Fayez Al Sarraj. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Rival Libyan leaders had agreed to a Paris-brokered deal in May to hold a nationwide election by the end of the year.


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