Gunfire and at least one explosion have rocked Libya‘s foreign ministry as attackers stormed the building in the capital Tripoli, witnesses and government media said.
The assault on Tuesday was carried out by several “terrorist attackers”, according to the Libyan unity government’s official TV channel, which cited foreign and interior ministry sources.
Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the building, witnesses said.
Reporting from Tripoli, Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahid said at least two security personnel and as many attackers were killed in the attack. A third attacker blew himself up, according to initial reports by the foreign ministry.
Libya’s security forces cordoned off the area and took control of all the buildings around the foreign ministry headquarters, Abdelwahid said.
All individuals and employees have been ordered to evacuate the buildings immediately, he said.
“The situation has relatively calmed down after security forces took control of building. According to reports from the foreign ministry, the foreign attackers stormed into the building, started shooting, heavy gunfire was heard and the special deterrance forces took control of the situation,” Abdelwahid said.
Libya has been torn apart by power struggles and undermined by chronic insecurity since the ouster and assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.