By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 17 January 2015:
A bomb exploded outside the Algerian embassy in central Tripoli this morning, slightly injuring three . . .[restrict]people and causing damage to buildings and other vehicles. The three injured, two from the diplomatic police guarding the building and a passer-by, were taken to hospital but later released.
According to local officials, the bomb was thrown from a car with tinted windows which then sped off.
The building was empty. Like many other countries (including Saudi Arabia whose embassy is just a few metres away), Algeria had evacuated its diplomatic staff from the Libyan capital.
It is not known who was responsible. A member of the continuing General National Congress accused the House of Representatives on the grounds that Algiers had refused to recognise the Tobruk parliament or help rearm the Libyan National Army. Other pro-Libya Dawn officials have likewise blamed it on General Khalifa Hafter’s Operation Dignity. The media office of Libya Dawn is reported to have made a similar accusation.
The Hassi interior ministry has condemned the attack, saying that it was an attempt to undermine “good relations” between Algeria and the Hassi “government” – suggesting that it too supports the view that Operation Dignity was responsible.
However, the group calling itself “the Islamic State in Tripoli” has claimed responsibility on Twitter. The same group claimed responsibility three weeks ago for an attack on the diplomatic police headquarters.
There is speculation that Islamists acted because of the Algerian government’s refusal to allow the two Kouachi brothers, responsible for the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, to be buried in Algeria.
Algerians are known to be in Libya alongside other Islamists in Ansar Al-Sharia at present.
The Algerian Foreign Minister, Ramtane Lamamra, was quick to condemn the attack this morning. He added that his government supported the UN-sponsored dialogue in Geneva. [/restrict]