Two suicide bombers and other attackers attacked the offices of Libya’s electoral commission in Tripoli Wednesday. At least 12 people have died, a Libyan official told Reuters.
The attack, which was claimed by ISIS, happened while Libyan officials were registering citizens to vote in the upcoming elections later this year, the BBC reports.
The attackers stormed the office building and began firing guns at the security forces stationed nearby. After the firefight, the terrorists entered the building and began shooting at the people inside. They then set the building on fire and detonated the suicide vests they were wearing.
The U.S. State Department “strongly” condemned the attack in a statement.
“We stand with all Libyans in the fight against terrorism and remain committed to working with the Government of National Accord to deny ISIS any safe haven in their country,” the State Department said.” This terrorist attack against a key pillar of Libya’s fragile democracy only deepens the United States’ commitment to supporting all Libyans as they prepare for credible and secure elections.”
Libya has been the home to several militia groups as well as terrorist organizations such as ISIS since the fall of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country has struggled to find a balance of power between competing administrations.