The attack on the headquarters of National Oil Company in Tripoli – UPDATED

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UPDATE: 

The Libya Observer reported that  gunmen attacked Monday the HQ of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, repeating the scenario of May attack on the High National Elections Commission.

Reports say around 6 gunmen stormed the building in Dahra district, using small weapons and grenades, leaving 2 NOC staffers dead and 10 others wounded, according to the Health Ministry

Two of the attackers were reportedly killed in an exchange of fire with security forces while two others blew themselves up, causing damage to the building.

The Special Deterrence Force said it was a terrorist attack by ISIS militants, posting pictures of body parts of two suicide bombers.

The National Safety Department managed to evacuate all the employees who were stuck atop the roof of NOC building including Chairman Mustafa Sanallah.

Analysts who spoke to Corporate Dispatch commented on the fact that the today’s attack on the NOC raises alarm and concern as it was carried by suicide bombers. While the violence has escalated recently, it is evident that today’s attack is particular as suicide bombings in Libya are very rare.

It is also evident that once there is an effort to take things forward, in a number of particular, similar attacks are used on the same key areas to deter progress, said the analysts.

Earlier

Blasts were heard at the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the Libyan capital on Monday morning and a security operation is under way at the building, a witness told the Reuters news agency. Smoke could be seen rising from close to the NOC offices and security officials said they were attempting to deal with gunmen believed to have attacked the building.

An employee of NOC told the local al-Nabaa TV station that three masked assailants attacked the headquarters.

Other witnesses said the building was engulfed in smoke.

Posts on social media showed photos of wounded people being carried from the scene, and security forces blocking the roads around the headquarters.

A Reuters witness saw ambulances leaving the site. A member of staff from a hotel next to the NOC offices said he had heard about five blasts.

The group had also claimed an attack in 2015 on the Corinthia hotel, a landmark location in Tripoli.

Reuters/Al Jazeera

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