Russian Embassy in Libya comes under fire, attack repelled

TRIPOLI/MOSCOW Wed Oct 2, 2013 7:16pm EDT

A burning car is seen in front of the Russian embassy, as it came under attack in Tripoli October 2, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

A burning car is seen in front of the Russian embassy, as it came under attack in Tripoli October 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

TRIPOLI/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli came under fire on Wednesday and a group of people tried to force their way into the compound, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Diplomatic sources in Libya said security guards fired shots to disperse a group of about 60 people that had approached the embassy. An attempt to enter the building was repelled and according to the Foreign Ministry no diplomats were wounded.

"The attackers opened fire and tore the Russian flag," the Russian Itar Tass news agency cited unnamed sources as saying. Embassy staff had been taken to the airport as a precaution.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told Russian state television the situation had calmed. "In Tripoli ...a shooting occurred and there was an attempt to enter the territory of the Russian embassy."

The attack was symptomatic of volatility in Libya two years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Clan and tribal rivalries, as well as Islamist groups, have flourished in the absence of strong central government. Security services, themselves riven, have struggled to maintain order.

There have been a number of attacks on Western diplomats by militant groups. Militants linked to al Qaeda affiliates attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on September 11, 2012.


However, one Libyan security source said the attack did not appear to be directly linked to any militant group. He said the crowd were angered by the killing, as they saw it, of a Libyan by a Russian woman.

"The group attacked the compound as an act of revenge, because of the killing of the Libyan," said the security source. The embassy was empty at the time.

The sources said Libyan authorities were searching for the gunmen.

Western powers, using air power, led the military campaign that ultimately toppled Gaddafi. Russia, which had had close relations with Gaddafi, did not take part in the action and condemned what it called the West's abuse of a United Nations Security Council to intervene.

(Reporting By Thomas Grove and Patrick Markey in Tunis; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Comments (15)
AlkalineState wrote:
Russia has been the top supplier of arms in the Syrian conflict. Of course they are a target now, stepping in a dog turd like that. Stupid.

Oct 02, 2013 3:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AS I have said before, Obama made a brilliant move when he let Russia take all the responsibility for Syria. Maybe they, the Islamic terrorists, will start seeing Russia as the big bad guy instead of the USA.

We repeated Russia’s mistakes in Afghanistan, now they are repeating our mistake of propping up Middle East dictators.

Oct 02, 2013 4:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cbj wrote:
So where are all of the ‘false flag’ looney tune propeller heads now?
Or is the US the only nation that is subject to such operations?

Oct 02, 2013 5:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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