Tripoli, 29 January 2013:
Two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were thrown over the wall of an unused United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) compound in the capital in the early hours of this morning.
No-one was injured in the attack which took place at around 1.30 am.
“One device exploded causing minor damages to the building and breaking several windows,” said UNSMIL spokesperson Radhia Achouri.
“A second, similar device was later found and successfully removed by the Libyan police who reacted swiftly and effectively to the incident,” she added.
The devices were thrown over the back wall of the compound on Gurji Road in the city’s Ghut Shaal district. In the past UNSMIL has considered using the compound as its headquarters but it is unoccupied at present.
The IEDs are reported to have been ‘gelatina’ bombs — improvised gelignite bombs particularly popular with fisherman. This type of device and the amateur manner of the operation suggests that this was not a planned attack by an organised terrorist group but rather the action of individuals.
Achouri said that the police are now investigating the incident.
Although there have been concerns about a possible terrorist attack on the British embassy in Tripoli and increased security measures on other Western diplomatic missions in the capital, the UN has not been seen as a potential terror target. However in April last year, before the attack on the British Ambassador and the subsequent killing of the US ambassador, an IED was thrown at a UN convoy in Benghazi, in which the former head of UNSMIL, Ian Martin, was travelling.