On Monday August 19, the EU ambassador to Libya was in a convoy outside the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. In broad daylight, a vehicle rammed the last vehicle in the convoy and robbed its occupants at gunpoint. When the vehicle then tried to get away, the robbers opened fire on it. The ambassador’s vehicle as long as the lead security escort were able to leave the scene when the attack started. According to the Libya Herald:
An EU source explained that the “soft-skinned” escort vehicle had been hit by another car without plates. “The close protection officer on board got out to speak to the other driver and was threatened with a gun. The men then stole some articles from the car ”, explained the source.
The EU security man re-boarded his vehicle and his driver sought to leave the scene. At this point, several shots were fired at it. There were no injuries to the EU personnel apart from some bruising sustained by the close protection officer. The damaged white EU vehicle returned to the Corinthia parking area, where guests noted its smashed rear window.
The Libya Herald also reports that allegations have been made that the security staff of the hotel as well as a nearby police officer did nothing to intervene in the robbery. They also state that there have been concerns that EU vehicles have been shadowed by unidentifiable vehicles.
I wonder what was taken from the security card. Hopefully it isn’t anything that will allow a suicide bomber to walk into a European or American embassy. Also, if the reports that security and the police did nothing to stop the attack are true, it shows just how bad things are becoming in Libya. Either the police and security were in on the attack, or criminal and terrorist factions in Libya have become powerful enough that law enforcement is unwilling or unable to intervene.