Bomb targets U.S. embassy offices in Libya’s Benghazi


U.S. embassy offices in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi came under attack during the night but there were no casualties, embassy and security sources said on Wednesday.

“There was an attack late last night on the United States office in Benghazi,” a U.S. embassy official said, adding that only the gate was damaged and that no one was hurt, according to Reuters news agency.

“We have asked the Libyan government to increase its security around U.S. facilities,” the official added. The main U.S. embassy is in the capital Tripoli.

Another U.S. official said a home-made bomb had been used in the attack on the office, which was set up after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qaddafi and has been kept open to support the democratic transition.

The American official said there was no claim of responsibility.

But a security official in Benghazi said the attack was claimed by the Prisoner Omar Abdelrahman Group, which had left a letter “threatening American interests” in Libya.

On May 22, the same group claimed an attack on the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

A month earlier, a bomb was thrown at a convoy carrying the head of the U.N. mission to Libya. That attack was the first of its kind targeting a foreign mission since last year’s revolt overthrew Qaddafi.

There was no indication who was behind the embassy attack.

But with national assembly elections due to be held in less than 20 days’ time, it underscores the instability in the country, where rival armed militia and tribesfolk are still jockeying for influence.

The latest attack comes hot at the heels on the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a master al-Qaeda propagandist and a Libyan national targeted by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.

The ruling National Transitional Council’s spokesman said the authorities were trying to get more information on the incident and condemned the attack.

“We condemn these actions,” Mohammed al-Harizi told AFP.