France to spend €20m on embassy security

France to spend €20m on embassy security
Libyan security services and civilians gather across the street after a car bomb attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya on April 23rd. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP
France is to shell out millions of euros on increasing security around its embassies in Africa and the Middle East, the French foreign office announced on Wednesday. The move comes after a car bomb attack on its Libyan embassy last month.

France is to spend €20 million on boosting security at its diplomatic missions in Africa and the Middle East after a car bomb attack last month on its embassy in Libya, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The April 23 attack wounded two French guards and caused extensive damage.

"We must continue to upgrade the security at our facilities, acquire mobile protection equipment and adapted vehicles, increase the security budget and allocate more staff to security," ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said.

He said the new measures would be partly funded through the sale of properties and the re-allocation of resources, but did not elaborate.

France has increased the alert level at its embassies in the region due to the attack in Libya, its military intervention in Mali and the breaking up of an Al-Qaeda-linked cell in Egypt that reportedly planned to bomb the US and French embassies in Cairo.

US President Barack Obama last week also urged Congress to fund upgrades to US embassy security around the world amid controversy over the handling of the September 11 attack last year on the US mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including ambassador Chris Stevens.

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