Tripoli: Russian Embassy Attacked in Libyan Capital

Possibly in retaliation of an alleged assassination of a Libyan army officer by a Russian
By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 2, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya was attacked on Wednesday.

Gunmen attacked the embassy, according to Al Arabiya.

ITAR-TASS news agency confirmed the attack with the Russian foreign ministry. There were no injuries. 

“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,” said the foreign ministry in a statement, translated from Russian.

Witnesses told the Russian news agency that attackers tore down a Russian flag but that the situation was quickly brought under control.

Photos shared on Twitter showed a burning car and a photo shared on Facebook allegedly showed smoke rising from the embassy area.

The sound of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades could be heard around the embassy when the attack initially started, according to the Al Arabiya’s correspondent there.

The embassy is at 10, Mustafa Kamel Street. No one answered the phones there, according to ITAR-TASS.

Rida, a resident of Tripoli, said via Twitter that four Libyans were shot by unknown assailants at the scene of the attack. 

Rida said that youth burned a Russian diplomatic building in the Dahra district. 

“No real damage to building, all burning was done outside the premises,” Rida said.

The attack could be in retaliation for an alleged assassination of a Libyan army officer on Monday by a Russian female. The female allegedly wrote “death to rats” with his blood, reported Mary Fitzgerald, an Irish Times correspondent.

“‘Rats’ was the common epithet used by Gaddafi loyalists to refer to those who carried out 2011 revolution against him,” she said.

Fitzgerald said that the Russian embassy is the latest in a string of embassy attacks. Among others, the French, U.S., and Italian embassies have been targeted over the past 18 months.

Story developing; check back for updates. 

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Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.