UAE condemns terrorist attack after embassies bombed in Libya
ABU DHABI // The UAE condemned as a terrorist act two car bombings on Thursday near the UAE and Egyptian embassies in Libya’s militia-controlled capital.
Three guards outside the UAE compound were wounded while two guarding the Egyptian embassy were hurt.
The bombs exploded within minutes of each other outside the embassies, which have been closed for months because of deteriorating security in Tripoli.
The response to the attack “requires collective, swift and decisive action to eradicate these criminal, terrorist practices which are also decried by the international community”, said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He blamed the attacks on the Islamist militias Fajr Libya and Ansar Al Sharia.
The blasts came on the same day as Islamists in Egypt set up roadblocks and killed five policemen and soldiers in northern Sinai and the army searched for eight servicemen missing after an attack on a navy boat in the Mediterranean.
Islamists were also blamed for a bombing on the Cairo metro on Thursday that wounded 16 people.
The Islamist militias, which have seized Libya’s capital and the country’s second-largest city, Benghazi, accuse the UAE and Egypt of backing their non-Islamist rivals.
Ansar Al Sharia has been blacklisted as a terrorist group by Washington for its alleged role in a deadly 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Fajr Libya, or Libya Dawn, is a coalition of militias which seized Tripoli in August after weeks of fighting with a nationalist group.
Thursday’s first bomb went off in a car park close to the Egyptian embassy, shattering several of its windows.
The second went off minutes later just outside the UAE mission compound, wounding three non-Emirati guards.
A Libyan security official, who works for a unit in charge of protecting embassy and diplomatic staff, said police were investigating the bombing and studying footage from CCTV cameras.
He also linked the attacks to support by Cairo and Abu Dhabi for Khalifa Haftar, a former Libyan army general who has launched an offensive on Islamists in Benghazi.
“This is not the first time that the embassies of those two brotherly countries are targeted ... due to their continued support for Haftar’s forces,” he said.
The foreign ministry in Egypt also denounced Thursday’s “terrorist bombings”.
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 Muammar Qaddafi was toppled and killed in a Nato-backed revolt, Libya is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and run by rival governments and parliaments.
* Agence France-Presse and Wam
Updated: November 13, 2014 04:00 AM