Monday, 11 June 2012

RPG hits British diplomatic convoy in Libya, 2 hurt

A BRITISH diplomatic convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi overnight, wounding two security guards. 
An AFP journalist saw a white armoured vehicle with a diplomatic plate parked outside the British consulate in Benghazi. There was blood on the front passenger seat, he said.
"A convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Libya (Dominic Asquith) was involved serious incident in Benghazi this afternoon," an embassy spokeswoman said.
"Two close protection officers were injured in the attack but all other staff are safe and uninjured. We are working with the Libyan authorities to establish who was responsible for the attack."
The two officers were both British citizens.
Libyan security officials had said earlier that one person, a British guard, had been wounded, when the vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Deputy Interior Minister Unis Sharif said the vehicle hit was carrying security personnel in a convoy for the head of the British diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
"The rocket hit the security vehicle and one member of the security team was critically injured," he said. The blast came as the convoy crossed the neighbourhood of Al-Kish.
The British Foreign Office also confirmed the attack and said it was "working with the Libyan authorities to establish who was responsible."
The attack comes five days after a small bomb was set off outside the US diplomatic mission in the same city, wounding one guard, according to Libyan authorities.
The US mission in Benghazi was targeted on July 6 following Washington's announcement of the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top Al-Qaeda operative reportedly killed in a drone attack in Pakistan.
Libi was a Libyan national and is said to have sympathisers in his homeland.
Several such incidents have occurred in Benghazi, the birthplace of Libya's revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, in recent months.
A rocket-propelled grenade struck the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross on May 22.
In April, an explosive device was thrown at a convoy carrying the head of the United Nations mission to Libya, Ian Martin.
And a blast ripped through a courthouse the same month causing serious damage to the building but no casualties.
The violence comes as the North African nation prepares to elect a general national congress, with the vote set for July 7.
Such incidents fuel fears that radical Islamists are on the rise in post-revolutionary Libya.

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