Car Explodes Outside of French Embassy in Libya

French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius.

French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius.

Tuesday, April 23, a car exploded outside of the French Embassy in Tripoli in what appears to be the first terrorist attack against foreign diplomats since Muammar el-Gaddafi was removed from power in 2011. The explosion leveled the embassy’s reception area on the ground floor and damaged nearby residences and shops.

The blast has not yet been confirmed as an act of terror or claimed by any terrorist group, but the explosion comes one day after French Parliament voted to continue French military presence in neighboring Mali.

No one was killed in the blast, but two guards were injured as well as several residents, according to BBC.

Ever since France deployed troops to the country in January, Islamist militant groups both in Mali and the surrounding region have denounced the intervention as France’s attempt to control its former colony.

A string of similar attacks, also anonymous, as well as numerous kidnappings have plagued the region during France’s military presence.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and President Francois Hollande condemned the attack as an act of cowardice and promised to find those responsible.

Hollande, in a statement to the press, pledged, “France expects the Libyan authorities to shed the fullest light on this unacceptable act, so that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice.”

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