The U.S. and European powers asked Libya's warring factions to set an “unconditional” ceasefire on talks of forming a unity government restarting in Algiers on Monday. The comments follow attacks by the Islamic State group on two embassies in the country.
"We strongly urge all participants to the dialogue to negotiate in good faith and use this opportunity to finalise agreements on the formation of a national unity government," a statement issued by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Britain and the U.S., said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), adding: “Only through compromise can Libya move toward a more secure, stable, and prosperous future.”
Militants from the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for attacks on the embassies of South Korea and Morocco in Libya, according to media reports on Monday. The group also said it conducted a series of attacks in Egypt’s Sinai region on Sunday that killed at least 14 people, including 11 security personnel, AFP reported.
The explosion outside the gate of the Moroccan embassy in Tripoli occurred early Monday, but nobody was hurt, AFP reported. The bombing in the Ben Ashour district, however, damaged the gate of the embassy and affected a residential building nearby.
On Sunday, the South Korean embassy in Tripoli was attacked, killing two security guards and injuring one more. The attack took place at about 1:20 a.m. local time (7:20 p.m. EDT on Saturday), but no nationals were hurt, Yonhap, Seoul’s official news agency reported, citing officials. The report added that militants fired at least 40 rounds of gunfire using a machine gun, according to the Associated Press.
"For now, the motive is unclear as to whether the (group in the) car was aiming for the embassy or the Libyan police officers, but there was no damage other than on the embassy's outer wall," a ministry official said, according to Yonhap.
The militants, who attacked the South Korean embassy, reportedly escaped after targeting the building from a car that did not have any license plate. The embassy's employees were sleeping inside at the time of the attack, but they were not hurt. The South Korean government has urged over 40 of its nationals who reside in Libya to leave the country, Yonhap reported.
On Sunday, two bomb attacks took place in the Sinai region in Egypt. A roadside bomb targeted a military vehicle and killed six soldiers and injured two people. Another suicide car bomb targeted a police station in North Sinai’s provincial capital of El-Arish, killing five policemen and one civilian. At least 44 people were injured in the attack in the second attack, AFP reported.
ISIS has conducted several attacks over the past couple of months in Libya targeting foreigners, embassies or oilfields. In January, the Corinthia Hotel in Libya was attacked and at least five people died, including an American and a French national. In February, a video showed ISIS militants beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Tripoli.