Car bomb explodes outside French embassy in Libya
A car bomb exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli in the early hours of this morning, injuring two French guards and a local 13-year-old girl and causing extensive damage to the neighbourhood.
Officials say the blast took place at 7am local time in a small side street in a Smart car.
It has been reported that the explosion was so powerful that it completely blew off the front wall of the embassy, setting off a fire inside the building that destroyed the reception area and trapped officials inside.
Furthermore, it caused extensive destruction locally. Two nearby homes have been badly damaged, windows of a shop in the vicinity were blown out and two parked cars burnt out.
The officials say the motives behind the blast are not clear and no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, however a criminal investigation is currently underway to find who was behind the attack.
The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, is reportedly travelling to Libya. In his statement to the media he said: “The foreign ministry is in liaison with the Libyan authorities and France will do everything it can to shed light on the circumstances of this abhorrent act and quickly identify the perpetrators.”
His Libyan counterpart, Abdel Aziz, has condemned the bombing as a “terrorist attack” but did not speculate on who might be behind the incident.
The bombing has stirred memories of last year’s September attack in Benghazi on the US consulate in Libya that killed the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.