Nine killed in Daesh attack on luxury hotel in Libya

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Nine killed in Daesh attack on luxury hotel in Libya

The dead included three security guards killed in the initial attack, five foreigners shot dead by the gunmen and a hostage who died when the attackers blew themselves up.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 27 Jan 2015, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:07 PM

Tripoli: Gunmen stormed a hotel in Tripoli popular with diplomats and officials on Tuesday in an attack claimed by the Daesh militant group, killing at least nine people including five foreigners before blowing themselves up.

After setting off a car bomb outside the luxury Corinthia Hotel in Libya’s capital, three armed militants rushed inside and opened fire, said Issam Al Naass, a spokesman for the security services. They made it to the 24th floor of the hotel, which is a major hub for diplomatic and government activity in Tripoli, before being surrounded by security forces and blowing themselves up, he said.

The dead included three security guards killed in the initial attack, five foreigners shot dead by the gunmen and a hostage who died when the attackers blew themselves up, he said. At least five people were also wounded during the assault, including two Filipina employees hurt by broken glass from the car bomb explosion.

The nationalities of the foreigners killed and the person taken hostage were not immediately known, but Al Naass said two of the foreigners were women.

The hotel’s 24th floor is normally used by Qatar’s mission to Libya but no diplomats or officials were present during the assault, a security source said.

The head of Libya’s self-declared government, Omar Al Hassi, was also inside the hotel at the time of the attack but was evacuated safely, Al Naass said.

In a brief statement on Twitter, the Tripoli branch of the Daesh militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, the Site Intelligence monitoring group said.

It said it was carrying out the attack in honour of Abu Anas Al Libi, an Al Qaeda suspect who died in the United States earlier this month, days before facing a trial for bombing US embassies.

Several militant groups in Libya have pledged allegiance to Daesh, the extremist organisation that has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Security forces loyal to Hassi’s government, which is jostling for power with the internationally backed authority of Prime Minister Abdullah Al Thani, surrounded the building during the assault.



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