A pair of bombs that went off within a half-hour of each other Sunday damaged the unoccupied Iranian ambassador's residence in Tripoli, Libya. The Libya Herald reported said the first explosive went off shortly before noon. No injuries were reported.
Agence France-Presse reported the first bomb exploded outside a security gate and the second was thrown onto the grounds. The Islamic State-affiliated Takfiri militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran's state-sponsored Press TV reported, quoting statements on Twitter posted by Islamic State group loyalists.
Tehran condemned the attack, which caused minor structural damage, Voice of America reported.
"Two devices were laid, one exploded first and then the other. The point of the second bomb was to create confusion," Col. Jumaa al-Mashri of the National Security Agency told Libya's al-Nabaa television, according to Reuters.
"Soldiers of the Islamic State caliphate targeted the Iranian embassy in Tripoli," the terrorists said in a statement posted with pictures of a flame on Twitter. The group also claimed responsibility for a Grad rocket attack on Labraq airport, the gateway into eastern Libya and the seat of the recognized government.
The Iranian ambassador's residence is unoccupied. Iranian diplomats fled Libya more than two years ago following the kidnapping of seven Iranian Red Crescent officials who were held for about two months. Relations between Iran and Libya soured after Libyan Grand Mufti Sadek al-Ghariani accused Iran of proselytizing in Libya in 2012, the Herald said.
The Islamic State group has been raising its profile in North Africa. It claimed responsibility for Friday's car bombing in Qubba that killed at least 40 people. The area is under the control of Libya's internationally recognized government. A rival government led by Islamist militias calling itself Libya Dawn has control of Tripoli, and the United Nations has been unable to mediate a political truce between the two governments.
Militants stepped up attacks in the wake of airstrikes launched last week by Egypt in retaliation for the beheadings of Egyptian Copts. Last month, a group stormed the Corinthia luxury hotel in Tripoli, killing at least five foreigners and four Libyans.
Few foreign missions remain open in Libya, as violence has escalated since the 2011 ouster of former leader Moammar Gadhafi, with attacks on foreign embassies common. In January, three people were injured when explosives were thrown at the Algerian embassy.
Libya's Foreign Ministry building in Benghazi was hit by a powerful car bomb that blew out a side wall and also damaged the Libyan Central Bank in 2013. Two French guards were injured by a car bomb that struck the French Embassy earlier that same year.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012.