Suicide attackers killed at least 12 people at Libya’s electoral commission in the capital Tripoli on Wednesday, authorities in the violence-wracked country said, after witnesses reported thick smoke and gunfire.
The internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said it was dealing with “the consequences of the cowardly suicide attack” after the health ministry put the toll at 12 dead and seven wounded.
Four armed assailants attacked the building on Wednesday morning, a senior security official in Tripoli, Mohamad al-Damja, said. “They killed the guards before opening fire at people on the premises,” he said. At least two of the attackers detonated their explosives when the security forces arrived, Damja added, describing the building as seriously damaged after it caught on fire. Security forces have since brought the situation under control, he said, while the site has been sealed off.
Eyewitnesses earlier said shots and at least two explosions were heard, while black smoke could be seen rising from the headquarters of the national election commission. The assault has not yet been claimed.