A car bomb blasted the embassy of France in Tripoli early Tuesday, injuring two French guards and causing serious damage to the building, embassy and Libyan sources said.

An AFP correspondent at the site said the wall surrounding the property was destroyed and the embassy building extensively damaged. Two cars parked near the embassy were also destroyed.

The explosion occurred around 7:00 am (0500 GMT), residents said.

A French source confirmed an "attack" against the embassy and said one guard was seriously wounded and another lightly hurt.

The French mission is located in a two-storey villa in the uptown Gargaresh area of Tripoli.

"We heard a loud blast at 7:00 am. It was a big mistake to site the French embassy in our neighbourhood," said a local resident at the scene.