Libyan gov't urges caution after deadly attack on foreign ministry

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayala (R) delivers a speech following a terrorist attack on the headquarters of Libyan Foreign Ministry in Tripoli, Libya, on Christmas Day

Libya's UN-backed government on Tuesday called on its people to take caution following a deadly suicide attack on the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in Tripoli.

"The Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord strongly condemns the cowardly attack that took place on Tuesday morning on the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in central Tripoli," the government said in a statement.

"The Council urges the people to take caution, and reiterates the need for unity against terrorist acts that target the country's security and stability," the statement added.

At least three people were killed and 10 others, including a paramedic, injured during the attack, said the Health Ministry.

The attack occurred at 9 a.m. local time, when a car bomb exploded right behind the ministry's building, said an official of the Foreign Ministry on condition of anonymity.

Afterward, a group of gunmen entered the building from the front and back entrances and exchanged heavy fire with the security forces, he added.

In September, Islamic state (IS) militants attacked the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation in the center of the capital Tripoli, killing two and injuring several others.

Xinhua News Agency