High terror threat in Libya, British government says

April 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

LONDON, April 23 (UPI) -- There's a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping in Libya following an attack Tuesday on the French Embassy in Tripoli, the British government said.

The French government condemned an attack on its embassy, which was mostly empty at the time of the morning blast. CNN said a 13-year-old girl and two security guards were injured when a car bomb exploded near the embassy.

The French government issued a statement saying it would work with Libyan authorities to ensure the attackers are identified. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

The British government reacted by advising against all but essential travel to Tripoli and other key cities, with the exception of Benghazi. The government said no one should travel to Benghazi.

An attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last year left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three of his staff members dead.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said it was looking to the Libyan government to tighten security across the country in the wake of Tuesday's bombing.

"Such violence is a direct attack against all Libyans who fought a revolution in order to enjoy a democratic future with security and prosperity," an embassy statement said.

The British government, meanwhile, said there was a high threat from terrorism and kidnapping in Libya.

"This threat is increased due to a threat of retaliatory attacks following the French intervention in Mali," it warned.

France intervened in January at the request of the Malian government, which is struggling to regain turf seized by foreign and Islamic rebels.

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