TRIPOLI (AFP) – Twin car bombs struck near the shuttered Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassy buildings in the militia-controlled Libyan capital on Thursday.
Two guards posted outside the empty Egyptian embassy compound were wounded in the first blast, Libya’s LANA news agency reported.
Three more posted outside the empty UAE compound were wounded in the second, a senior official told AFP in Abu Dhabi.
Both governments are considered hostile by the Islamist-led militias which seized Tripoli in August in an offensive during which UAE warplanes carried out strikes against them from neighbouring Egypt.
The first bomb went off in a car park close to the Egyptian embassy building. The second went off minutes later just outside the UAE mission compound, wounding the three guards, who were not Emiratis, the Abu Dhabi official said.
“This is an indication of the state of lawlessness in the Tripoli area,” the official said.
He said the blast showed the need for greater support for Libya’s internationally recognised government, which took refuge in the remote east of the country after the militia takeover of the capital.
“The unruly condition that we are seeing will deteriorate further if the extremist militia continue to control the Libyan capital,” he said.
Washington confirmed that Abu Dhabi launched air strikes against militia fighters from an Egyptian base in August in an abortive attempt to prevent their capture of Tripoli airport. Egypt has denied participating in the raids.
Egypt closed its embassy in Tripoli in January and the UAE followed suit in May as security conditions in the capital deteriorated.
Three years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a NATO-backed revolt, Libya is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and run by rival governments and parliaments.