Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Armed assailants attack Russian embassy in Libya

By Giovanni Giacalone

According to reports, the attackers, approximately ten and armed with automatic rifles and grenades, drove to the diplomatic compound in two cars, they tore down a Russian flag that was hanging from one of the balconies,  initially opened fire on a diplomatic car parked next to the building and then on the embassy compound itself.

The attackers then tried to enter the embassy but the arrival of Libyan security personnel forced them to flee the area; one of the terrorists were killed and four more wounded while nobody from the embassy staff was injured in the attack.

Russian diplomatic staff and families have been evacuated from Libya; the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the evacuees had arrived in neighboring Tunisia, from where they planned to fly back to Russia.

The assault occurred one day after the murder of a Libyan army officer who was killed by a Russian woman. The reason still remains unknown; some sources say that the officer was killed for his role in the 2011 revolt against the Ghedafi regime while others talk about a marital dispute, presuming that the woman was the wife of the victim.

An episode that recalls the September 2012 attack of the US consulate in Benghazi which caused the death of the US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

This is not the first time that the Russian embassy in Libya comes under attack as a similar episode occurred in February 2012 when angry demonstrators stormed the compound to protest against the Russian decision to block the UN resolution against the Syrian government.

While Kremlin sources believe that Wednesday's attack was not politically-motivated there are fears that groups of armed jihadis could target the Russian diplomatic staff due to Moscow's positions in the Syrian crisis and the chaotic situation of the country can only increase such concerns as Libyan cities are still today extremely violent and without law, nearly two years after Ghedafi's overthrow.

A perfect operational area for various jihadi groups which have gathered in the country from different parts of North Africa and the Sahel region and who are free to move and organize their activities. In the summer of 2013 Libyan militants allied with terrorist groups stole millions of dollars in high-grade American military equipment, including armored Humvees and advanced night-vision goggles, during a raids on a U.S. special forces base outside of Tripoli.

Giovanni Giacalone