Two guards injured in apparent car bomb attack in Tripoli, according to security officials.
"There was a lot of damage and there are two guards wounded."
In Paris, foreign minister Laurent Fabius condemned what he called a heinous attack and said everything would be done to find the perpetrators.
"I send my solidarity and deepest sympathy to the two injured French guards and my wishes for their recovery," he said in a statement.
One resident living less than 100 metres from the embassy said his windows shook when the first blast occurred.
A witness who lives near the embassy, Asad Naeeli, told Al Jazeera that the bomb went off around 7am [0500 GMT].
“This is a big concern as a Libyan. You hear about things happening in different cities and now it is close to home," he said. "It is a big concern for the security of Libya, it will delay many things."
Diplomatic missions have been targeted in Libya, most notably an attack on the US mission in the eastern city of Benghazi last September that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.
However Tuesday's attack is the first such serious assault on an embassy or foreign mission in the capital, Tripoli.
Libya's new rulers are still struggling to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons and a myriad of armed militias who often do as they please.