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Islamic State suicide bombers targeted the offices of Libya's electoral commission in Tripoli on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people in one of the most brazen assaults on the Libyan capital in years.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Wedad Abu Niran told The Associated Press the suicide bomber blew himself up inside the building and that other militants set fire to it on Wednesday.

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.

Fifteen people were killed in a suicide attack on Libya's High National Elections Commission (HNEC) yesterday.

He added that security officers had entered the building to respond to the attack in the Ghout al-Shaal district west of central Tripoli.




IS and other Islamic extremists in Libya oppose democratic elections, which the United Nations and Libya's foreign backers are urging to take place in 2018 despite security problems in the oil-rich North African country. The representative of the electoral Commission said that he had been killed three officials and four members of the security forces.

It wrote on Twitter, "Such terrorist attacks will not deter Libyans from moving forward in the process of consolidating national unity and building the state of law and institutions". The commission recently registered almost one million new voters.

The bombing was also a reminder of the lingering dangers posed by the Islamic State more than a year after US airstrikes and Libyan militias pushed the militants from their stronghold of Sirte, 230 miles east of Tripoli.

Libya has been engaged in a civil war since the 2011 ouster and death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, which eventually divided the country into two governments, a UN-backed one in Tripoli and a parliament-backed, military-oriented one in Tobruk.


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