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France Outraged at Car Bomb Attack on Embassy in Libya

  • VOA News

Libyan security forces gather outside the French embassy building in Tripoli following a car bomb attack, April 23, 2013.

Libyan security forces gather outside the French embassy building in Tripoli following a car bomb attack, April 23, 2013.

France is expressing outrage following an attack on its embassy in the Libyan capital.
The explosion early Tuesday at the French complex in the Hay Andalus area of Tripoli wounded two guards and caused extensive damage.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the attack could have been worse if not for the quick action of security personnel. "There will be reinforcement in the whole area, not only in Libya but there will be security measures in the whole area. This attack was made to kill, France will not give in.," he said.
French Embassy, Tripoli, Libya

French Embassy, Tripoli, Libya

Fabius also warned the attack was aimed not only at France but at "all the countries who are fighting against terrorist groups."
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also condemned the attack, saying those responsible must be brought to justice.
The Libyan Foreign Ministry is calling the attack a "terrorist" incident.
Analyst Richard Cochrane with IHS Jane's Information Group says the attack is worrisome because it shows just how fragile the situation is (audio of his full interview with VOA below).
"It really highlights the problems the Libyan government is having even in securing control of Tripoli, let alone the rest of the country, and exposes really how vulnerable foreign interests are to terrorists and this kind of terrorist attack," he said.
Cochrane says another concern is the apparent degree of planning that went into Tuesday's attack on the French embassy, which could indicate the involvement of more experienced militants.
Making matters more complicated, Cochrane says weapons are easy to come by in Libya.
"The population themselves are wary of giving up those weapons because they don't yet trust the government to be acting in their best interest. It's a very shaky post-revolutionary environment," he said.
Libya has struggled with instability and violence since the ouster of long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi in late 2011.
An attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last September killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Listen to Richard Cochrane's full interview with VOA's Susan Yackee using the audio player below:

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