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Russian embassy in Tripoli attacked

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-10-03 03:18

TRIPOLI - The Russian embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli was attacked by unknown militants on Wednesday, source from the embassy told Xinhua.

Dozens of gunmen, who were dressed in plain clothes, fired at the Russian embassy in downtown Tripoli with light arms, the source said.

The militants then set fire to embassy buildings and tore off the Russian national flag, according to the source.

There are no reports of injuries among the embassy staff, with the situation soon brought under control. It is believed that the Russian ambassador to Libya was not inside the diplomatic compound during the attack.

According to nearby residents, the gunmen took away several people from the Russian embassy. It is not immediately known whether the taken ones were Russian citizens or local people.

Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on Wednesday to confirm the incident.

"There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian Embassy in this country," said the Russian statement.

The attack could be in retaliation to the assassination of a Libyan military officer earlier this week. A Russian female allegedly assassinated a Libyan military officer and injured his daughter, which prompted anger among Libyans.

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