Gunmen Target Russian Embassy in Libya

October 3, 2013  

Unknown gunmen attacked the Russian embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Wednesday, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

The sound of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades could be heard around the embassy, the correspondent added.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the attack but noted that none of its staff was injured.

Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on local radio the attackers fired at the embassy in the Libyan capital and tried to break into its grounds.

She said that according to preliminary information no one among the embassy personnel was wounded.

The attack comes two days after conflicting reports emerged about the circumstances of the murder of an army officer in the Souk Juma district of Tripoli, according to AFP.

Some sources said a Russian woman had killed the officer for his role in the 2011 revolt against the regime of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi.

Others said the woman was the wife of the slain man and that the motive for the killing was a marital dispute.

Libya has been unstable since Qaddafi was overthrown two years ago. There have been several attacks in the country, the most well-known of which is the terror attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi on September 11 of last year.

Four Americans were killed in that attack, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

The United States Justice Department has filed sealed criminal charges against a number of suspects in the Benghazi attack, including Ahmed Abu Khattalah, founder of the Libya-based Ansar al-Sharia terror group.

Abu Khattalah was seen at the compound when it was overrun, according to intelligence officials. In interviews with reporters, Abu Khattalah has admitted being at the scene but denied involvement in the attack.

U.S. authorities have released pictures of three other men they said were present during the attack, but did not say whether the three men are suspects in the attack.

Recently published evidence reveals that jihadi entities, such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al-Sharia are holding training camps in Libya.

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