Monday, 25 June 2012

U.S Embassy in Libya (Benghazi) attacked

Times of Malta

The US diplomatic mission in Libya’s main eastern city of Benghazi came under attack overnight and one person was wounded, officials said yesterday.

“There was an attack late last night on the United States office in Benghazi,” a US embassy official said, adding only the gate was damaged and that no one was hurt.

However, Libyan authorities later reported that a guard was “lightly wounded.”

The diplomat said a home-made bomb had been used in the attack on the office, set up after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and kept open to support the democratic transition.

“The US deplores the attack on its diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” he said, adding that a request had been made to Libyan authorities to step up security around US facilities in the country.

Mohammed al-Harizi, spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council, condemned the bombing and said the authorities were investigating.

The US official said there was no claim of responsibility. But a security source in Benghazi said the attack was claimed by the Prisoner Omar Abdelrahman Group, which had left a letter “threatening American interests” in Libya.

The same group – which is named after an Egyptian sentenced to life in prison in the US – claimed a May 22 attack on the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the security official said.

The latest attack comes on the heels of the death of Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi, a master Al-Qaeda propagandist targeted by a US drone strike in Pakistan.

Deputy Interior Minister Unis al-Sharef said the attack could have been linked to the announcement of Mr al-Libi’s death.

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