Suicidal attack on Libya’s election commission: 12 dead
Yesterday in Tripoli suicide bombers and a group of militant had captured the head offices of Libya’s electoral commission, they have assassinated at least 12 people and set the building on fire , said officials.
As the attackers wanted to tried to regain control over the building the security forces affianced with them in a gun battle said the electoral commission spokesman Khaled Omar, who fled the offices with other staff as the attack unfolded.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but it seemed aimed at derailing efforts to organize elections in Libya by the end of this year, part of a U.N.-led attempt to unify and pacify the country after years of conflict and political division.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, however it seemed that their target was to interrupt the efforts to organize the election in Libya by the end of this year, part of a U.N.-led attempt to unify and pacify the country after years of conflict and political division.
Nearly one million new voters across Libya were recently registered by the commission however no specific date has been set for the polls.
After several years Wednesday’s attack was the first of this kind. Even though the security across Libya remains instable, violence in the capital has lately been limited to controlled clashes between armed groups.
Pictures which are displayed over social media showed a thick black smoke flowing from the site of the attack, in the Ghout al-Shaal district west of central Tripoli.
“I saw two suicide bombers myself… they were shouting Allahu Akbar (God is greatest),” said Omar, adding that he had seen bombers’ body parts strewn on the ground.
“A suicide bomber blew up him inside the commission and the others set a part of the building on fire.”
Among the victims there were three employees of the commission and four members of local security forces, Omar said. The health ministry put the toll at 12 dead and seven wounded.
Since 2011 a civil war resulted in the overthrow of longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi by rebel fighters backed by NATO air strikes Libya has been in a state of turmoil.
The 2014 elections were disputed, resulting in rival governments backed by competing military alliances in Tripoli and the east.
In recent years, Militants associated to Islamic State have carried out suicide bombings across the north of the country although the group lost most of its fighters in Libya when it was driven out of its stronghold in the central city of Sirte in 2016.
Libyan and Western officials say militants, as well as fighters loyal to Islamic State and al Qaeda, are now focused in remote desert areas, but also have sleeper cells in coastal cities including Tripoli.
Some Libyans and members of the international community have questioned the push for new elections this year, expressing concern about the lack of security as well as legal and logistical challenges