December 25, 2018 9:26 pm

Militants attack Libya’s Foreign Ministry in Tripoli, 3 killed: security officials

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BENGHAZI, Libya — A suicide bomber targeted the entrance of Libya’s Foreign Ministry in Tripoli on Tuesday, killing three people, including a prominent militia leader, according to security officials.

The officials said a second attacker was shot dead by guards before he could detonate his explosive vest. An explosion believed to have been caused by a car bomb went off before the two attackers approached the ministry, located at the heart of Tripoli.

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They identified the militia leader killed in the attack as Abdul-Rahman Mazoughi of the Revolutionary Brigade.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

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The Health Ministry confirmed the death toll and said 10 other people were wounded.

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No one immediately claimed the attack, which bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group.

The United Nations in Libya condemned the “cowardly terrorist” attack on the Foreign Ministry.

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“Terrorism will not triumph over the Libyans’ decision to move forward toward building their state and renouncing violence,” it said in a statement.

“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 Salamé, the U.N. special envoy to Libya.

Libya has been a haven for militants since a 2011 uprising toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The country is split between rival governments, each backed by an array of local militias.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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