OREANDA-NEWS. Armed men have seized the Libyan government building in Tripoli, Sky News Arabia reported, citing local media.

According to them, the chairman and members of the country's presidential council were evacuated to safety after receiving information about militants preparing attacks on their homes.

The TV channel's sources said that armed formations had been mobilised in the west of the country.

Al Arabiya TV said gunmen surrounded the building but did not break into it.

The country will hold its first-ever presidential election on December 24, according to agreements reached at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Switzerland.

Since the overthrow and assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has failed to form a unified governing body. Until October last year, the country was governed by a dual government: the UN-recognised National Accord Government (NAC), led by Prime Minister Faiz Sarraj, and an interim government supported by the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar.

In October 2020, representatives of the NTC and the LNA agreed in Geneva to a ceasefire. In February, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum elected a presidential council and a unified government. Haftar temporarily stepped down as LNA commander-in-chief to contest presidential elections in December.

In May, a group of armed men attacked a hotel in Tripoli where the presidential council was headquartered. Its head Mohammed al-Menfi managed to flee the building through the back entrance. Al Arabiya sources noted that Western region militias involved in Operation Volcano of Wrath against the LNA, which was announced by Sarraj, could have been behind the attack.