Terror strikes Tripoli

The blast in Tripoli, which targetted the French embassy, is a grim reminder of the fact that terror is alive and kicking.

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Published: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 8:52 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:36 AM

This attempt, however, has geo-political connotations as well. French embassies across northern Africa have been on high alert since France sent in troops to help fight an Islamist insurgency in Mali earlier this year. Though Paris has said that it has no extra-territorial designs and the war will be restricted to Mali, and wrapped up as soon as possible, unrest and fissures have been reported across the restive East African belt. But this focused mayhem in Tripoli — meant to bleed French interests — is an overt message perhaps to President Francois Hollande, who had launched an expedition in Africa and had taken on the courage to go solo.

Radical elements are believed to be behind the attack, though none have come forward with a statement. That is why perhaps Libya had adopted a cautious approach as its Foreign Minister Abdel Aziz refused to speculate over the gruesome incident, and limited himself by calling it outrageous. The attack, however, brought to fore a similar act of cowardice at the US consulate in Benghazi, which led to the killing of its diplomatic staff. Then it was the popular wave of Arab Spring coupled with reactionary acts in the wake of an alleged blasphemous film against Islam, but at this point of time it is nothing more than vendetta. But the million dollar question is who are these elements who have chosen Libya as the theatre of activities, and what message they intend to send across.

There are more questions than answers because, of late, Libya has become a militarised society, and gangsters are on the rampage. The failure of the government to stem their rise is now taking its toll. The people of Libya, and of the region, demand answers from officials who had pushed them into this miserable situation, wherein they find themselves reeling under terror and destruction. The devastation of French mission could be just the tip off the iceberg.

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