Libya militants attack Russian Embassy in Tripoli

Libya militants attack Russian Embassy in Tripoli
Thu Oct 3, 2013 18:05:01

The Russian Embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli has come under attack by unknown militants who attempted to get inside the diplomatic compound, Russian foreign ministry said.

“There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian Embassy in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich was quoted as saying Thursday in an RT report.  

The report further cites Libyan authorities and press reports as saying that one of the assailants was killed during the attack and four others were injured.

According to the Russian foreign ministry statement, no embassy staff was hurt during the armed attack.

Russian press reports also cite witnesses as saying that the assailants tore down a Russian flag during the attack.

The situation was soon brought under control and there are currently no intruders on the premises of the Russian Embassy, the report adds.

According to local reports, around 10 attackers approached the embassy in two vehicles and first opened fire on a parked diplomatic car.

After setting the car ablaze, the attackers opened fire on the diplomatic building itself, but as security forces reached the scene, they drove off in an unknown direction.

Meanwhile, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz visited the Russian Embassy following the attack to assess the damage. Zeidan voiced his gratitude to the security forces for intervening and protecting the Russian diplomats.

This is while the Libyan Interior Ministry speculated that the attack on the Russian embassy may have been a reaction to the reported killing of a Libyan air force pilot by a Russian woman on Tuesday.
According to local media reports, the woman was detained by Libyan authorities and charged with murdering the pilot, writing offensive graffiti with his blood, and also stabbing his mother.

The reports, however, did not offer a motive for the murder, but said that the graffiti expressed anti-opposition sentiments.

Other reports described the nationality of the alleged killer as Ukrainian and Serbian.

There has been no official confirmation of the incident and whether the perpetrator was Russian or had links to its diplomatic post in Tripoli.

A similar attack on Russia’s Tripoli embassy took place in February 2012 when protesters stormed the compound, condemning Russian and Chinese decisions to block a US-led resolution in UN Security Council against Syria. No one was injured in that attack.

Nearly two years after the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed following a popular uprising in the country, Tripoli and other Libyan cities have been plagued by violence, lawlessness and factional infighting.

In another major attack on a diplomatic post in Libya, US ambassador to the country and four CIA operatives were killed in the American Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

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