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Tripoli embassy attack sparked after Libyan officer killed by Russian woman - FM

Published time: October 03, 2013 13:32
Edited time: October 03, 2013 14:26
A burning car is seen in front of the Russian embassy, as it came under attack in Tripoli October 2, 2013. (Reuters)

A burning car is seen in front of the Russian embassy, as it came under attack in Tripoli October 2, 2013. (Reuters)

An attack on Russia’s embassy in Libyan Tripoli comes as retaliation after a Russian woman killed local officer and injured his mother, Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Embassy staffers and their families have left Libya following the attack.

On Thursday they successfully crossed the border with Tunisia and will return to Moscow on an Emergency Ministry's special flight on Friday.

After visiting the Russian Embassy, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz recommended Russian diplomats to leave the country as local security forces are unable to ensure a safe working environment.

Libyan authorities assured Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that they will take measures to secure property and real estate on the embassy’s territory. 

A group of high-ranking diplomats is temporarily remaining in Tunisia to maintain contacts with the Libyan side.

Provoked by the murder that occurred on October 1, a group of gunmen – the officer’s relatives and friends - opened fire on the diplomatic compound and got onto the territory, forcing diplomats and their families to hide in a protected location.

Embassy security guards, along with one of the local pro-government militias, managed to force attackers out.

One assailant was killed and four others were injured.

According to reports, around 10 attackers drove to the embassy in two cars. They first opened fire on a parked diplomatic vehicle, Libyan News Agency (LANA) reported on Wednesday. They then opened fire on the diplomatic building itself and tore down a Russian flag.

The Russian woman is now in custody and a criminal case against her has been launched. 

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