Libyan Foreign Ministry building on fire after a suicide bomb incident on Tuesday (December 25). Photo: Reuters
TRIPOLI, Libya – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli has advised Filipinos in the country to be vigilant following the recent suicide bomb attack at Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday (December 25).
In a statement posted on its official Facebook page, the Embassy “wishes to reiterate to the public to take the necessary precaution” following the incident.
“The Embassy advises the public to continue to take utmost care and precaution, stay indoors as much as possible, and avoid all but the most necessary movements,” the statement further read.
Three suicide bombers attacked Libya’s foreign ministry killing at least two other people dead as well as themselves, according to authorities.
Health officials said at least 21 people were injured in the incident.
Witnesses accounts said the attackers began their assault with a car bomb, damaging vehicles and buildings, and then opened fire on the ministry.
Two managed to get inside and blow themselves up. The other was killed by ministry guards.
Interior Minister Fathi Ali Bashagha said investigations were continuing into the identity of the assailants.
He said security chaos in Libya offered favorable conditions for Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
“It is clear that this is a terrorist attack. So far no party has claimed responsibility for the attack. This terrorist attack will not stop us from progressing and building the nation. There need to be committees to investigate the weakened security and to implement security plans in order to be able to overcome the weakened security situation,” the Minister said in Arabic.
IS has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015 but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by U.S. air strikes.
Following the suicide attack, the Philippines Embassy encourages Filipino nationals in Libya to communicate as it opens its lines “for whatever assistance they may need and that full staff complement is in Tripoli and ready to assist the community for any eventuality.”
“The Embassy requests the community’s support in reporting any incident involving Filipino nationals,” the Embassy said.
In the event of emergency, Filipinos may reach the Embassy through 0918244208 or Tripoli.PE@dfa.com. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Reuters)
Statement of the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli on the recent suicide attack: