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French embassy in Libya bombed

At the scene of the bombing in Tripoli today.

At the scene of the bombing in Tripoli today.

TRIPOLI — A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two French guards and several residents.

The blast in Tripoli destroyed the embassy’s ground-floor reception area and perimeter wall, as well as damaging neighbouring homes and shops.

French President Francois Hollande called on Libya to act swiftly over this “unacceptable” attack.

It is the first major attack on a foreign embassy in the Libyan capital.

Today’s explosion happened shortly after 07:00 (05:00 GMT) in a smart residential area of Tripoli.

One of the embassy’s guards was severely injured while the other suffered lighter injuries. Several residents were also slightly hurt.

One young girl suffered a spinal cord injury and was being transferred to neighbouring Tunisia for treatment, her father told the BBC.

The blast took place in a small side street and left a scene of devastation.

As well as extensive damage to the embassy building and perimeter wall, two nearby homes were badly damaged and others affected, while the windows of a shop were blown out and two parked cars were burnt out.

Many neighbours who gathered in the street to survey the damage were shaken and upset by what had happened, complaining of a lack of proper policing for such a potentially high-profile target.

“It was a big mistake to site the French embassy in our neighbourhood,” a local resident said.

President Hollande said the attack had targeted “all countries in the international community engaged in the fight against terrorism”. (BBC)

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