Blasts rock Egypt, UAE embassies in Libya

There were no immediate reports of casualties, residents and witnesses said

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Bombs exploded near the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Thursday, residents and witnesses said, according to Reuters news agency.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage in the attacks, the agency reported.

Both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates followed other nations in pulling diplomatic staff out of the capital over the summer after armed clashes in Tripoli between armed factions battling for control of the North African state.

The bomb had slightly damaged buildings and some stores, but it was not clear if the Egyptian embassy had been hit, a witness told Reuters.

There were no immediate details of whether the embassy was the target of the bomb or whether any staff were in the building.

The incident happened after a series of car bombs on Wednesday mainly in towns under the control of the internationally recognized government, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is facing a challenge from a rival government set up in Tripoli.

Libya is caught up in growing unrest as rival armed factions compete for power and control of the OPEC country's oil resources.

One faction has taken over Tripoli, setting up its own government and parliament and forcing the elected parliament and administration of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni to operate out of Tobruk.

Both sides have routinely accused each other of seeking support from neighbouring regional powers, and many embassies and embassy staff have left the capital after armed clashes and the takeover of the city in the summer.

International efforts led by the United Nations to mediate between the rival factions have so far been unable to broker a ceasefire or bring the North African state's main armed actors to the negotiating table.

(with Reuters)