French Embassy Is Attacked In Libya

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In the biggest terrorist attack in Libya since the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi last September, a car bomb exploded outside the French embassy in Tripoli, wounding two French guards. No groups have claimed responsibility, but it could be retaliation for France's military mission against extremists in Mali, which the parliament in Paris voted to extend on Monday

According The New York Times, Tuesday's attack would be the biggest assault on a diplomatic compound in Tripoli since the revolution against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. That the French government was the target is even more upsetting, given that France led the international effort to intervene on behalf of the rebels during that war. They were the first country to recognize the Libyan rebels as a legtimate government and their warplanes were the first to enter the battle against Qaddafi forces.

However, their decision to make a similar intervention in Mali, to defend that nation's fragile government against Islamic extremists has made them a target again, forcing the country to beef up security at French outposts around the globe. It's also shined the spotlight on Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is believed to be at least partly responsible for the attack on an Algerian gas plant in January that killed 38 people.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.