ESAM MOHAMED | AP
Published — Tuesday 23 April 2013
Last update 26 April 2013 10:07 am
TRIPOLI, Libya: A car bomb targeted the French Embassy in the Libyan capital early Tuesday, wounding two French guards and a Libyan teenager in an attack that President Francois Hollande denounced as an assault not only on France but all countries engaged in the fight against terrorism.
The explosives-laden car was detonated just outside the embassy building in Tripoli’s upscale Al-Andalus neighborhood early in the morning, before any of the embassy staff had arrived inside the diplomatic mission, two Libyan security officials said.
The strong explosion wounded two French guards and set off a fire at the embassy entrance that engulfed some of the offices inside, the officials said. A Libyan girl in her teens, who was in a nearby house, was also hurt from the blast.
Two cars parked outside the embassy caught fire and two other nearby buildings were also damaged, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Firefighters rushed to the scene of the attack as smoke billowed into the sky. Video from the scene showed charred walls on surrounding houses.
The officials said the motives for the attack — the first such assault on an embassy in the Libyan capital — were not immediately clear. The Libyan government condemned the attack and said in a statement posted on its official website that it “rejects such actions, which are directly targeting Libya’s security and stability.”