Islamic militants fired upon the South Korean embassy in Tripoli, Libya on Sunday, resulting in the death of two base guards, South Korean and Libyan officials have confirmed. In a separate attack on early Monday morning, ISIS-linked jihadis bombed Morocco’s Embassy in Tripoli.
Jihadists on social media that are affiliated with the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack. NBC News has stated that it was able to verify the authenticity of the claims on Twitter.
On Sunday, the militants emerged from a car and opened fire upon Libyan security personnel, killing two police officers and wounding another, according to a regional security spokesperson. South Korean officials confirmed that no Korean nationals were injured or killed in the attack against the embassy. A foreign ministry official told Reuters that the embassy had only three staff members present at the time of the attack, and that Seoul is considering relocating the embassy to a safer area, if possible.
“We held a meeting Sunday led by a vice foreign minister to look into the possibility for a complete transfer of the embassy to Tunisia and decided to individually contact all remaining citizens in Libya to recommend to pull out,” said Lee Key-cheol, South Korean ambassador for consular affairs. “Today we’ve gathered to examine whether the [Islamic State] did indeed carry out the attack and its background, and share views on future measures to protect our citizens there.”
“No attack or violence against a foreign diplomatic mission can be justified,” said a Foreign Ministry statement following the attack.
The foreign ministry said that there are also a few dozen Koreans remaining in the country, and that they hope to soon craft a plan for their safe evacuation.
In a separate incident early Monday, Islamists that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State bombed the Moroccan Embassy in Tripoli, just hours after the South Korean embassy attack. Morocco security spokesperson Essam al-Naas confirmed that the attack took place, and reported that no one was wounded or killed. Libya’s ISIS branch confirmed on Twitter that its “soldiers of the caliphate” targeted the embassy, the Associated Press reported.
In recent months, Islamic State-affiliated militants in Libya have claimed responsibility for a series of high profile attacks. Most notably, the group claimed responsibility for the recent beheading of 21 Egyptian coptic Christians, and then promised to conquer rome.
Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has been a hotbed for sectarian clashes between secular forces and rival Islamist entities.