Libya: Gunmen attack election commission HQ in Tripoli killing 15

3rd May 2018
Libya: Gunmen attack election commission HQ in Tripoli killing 15

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA): At least 15 people were killed Wednesday in an armed attack on the headquarters of Libya’s official electoral commission in capital Tripoli, according to a local medical source. Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Abdeldaeim al-Rabati, who directs a local field hospital, told Anadolu Agency that 15 people had been killed, while the injured — for whom he did not provide a number — had been taken to nearby hospitals.

Speaking earlier, a member of the electoral commission told Anadolu Agency that a group of gunmen had attacked the commission’s main office in Tripoli’s Ghut Shaal district.

Speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, the same source said that several commission employees and security personnel had been killed in the attack.

At one point, Libyan security forces surrounded the building in which the perpetrators were still holed up, according to sources quoted by Libya’s Al-Ahrar television channel.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), for its part, condemned what it described as a “terrorist attack”.

“UNSMIL condemns in the strongest terms possible the terrorist attack… in Tripoli and extends its condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives today,” the mission tweeted.

It added: “Such terrorist attacks will not deter Libyans from moving forward in the process of consolidating national unity and building a state of laws and institutions.”

Libya has suffered a protracted political crisis since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising ended with the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo:  A damaged building is seen after an armed attack on the headquarters of Libya’s official electoral commission, in the capital Tripoli, Libya on May 02, 2018.  Photographer: Hazem Turkia/AA]

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