World Bulletin/News Desk
France’s embassy in Libya was hit by what appeared to be a car bomb on Tuesday, injuring two guards in the first such attack in the Libyan capital since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.
“There was an attack on the embassy. We think it was a booby trapped car,” a French official told Reuters. “There was a lot of damage and there are two guards wounded.”
In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned what he called a heinous attack and said everything would be done to find the perpetrators. “I send my solidarity and deepest sympathy to the two injured French guards and my wishes for their recovery,” he said in a statement.
One resident living less than 100 metres from the embassy said his windows shook when the first blast occurred.
“I think there were two blasts, the first was very loud and then there was a smaller one,” another witness said. “There was some black smoke at first, and then it turned white.”
Diplomatic missions have been targeted in Libya, most notably an attack on the US mission in the eastern city of Benghazi last September that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
However Tuesday’s attack is the first such serious assault on an embassy or foreign mission in the capital, Tripoli.
Libya’s new rulers are still struggling to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons and a myriad of armed militias who often do as they please.