Tripoli, 27 June:
A bomb exploded outside the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli yesterday, two days after former prime minister Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi . . .[restrict]was extradited from Tunisia to Libya to stand trial.
The incident comes eight days after the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi was attacked by a Salafist group called Ansar Al-Sharia, who said they were protesting against pictures by Tunisian artists which they deemed to be offensive against Islam.
There has been speculation that yesterday’s attack may have been perpetrated by former Qaddafi loyalists in retaliation for the extradition of Al-Mahmoudi.
The attack caused damage to the consulate’s rear gate, but nobody was injured in the blast.
“The security cameras showed a car zoom by carrying four unknown men who threw the bomb at the gate. The Tunisian consulate called us to investigate,” Motassim Billah Abu Hreiba, a police investigator, told Reuters news agency.
Coming less than two weeks before nationwide elections on 7 July, the incident highlights once again the relative ease with which small-scale attacks of this nature can take place.
Improving the country’s capacity to both prevent and investigate such events will be a key priority for the new government.