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Iran Press TV

Militant attack on luxury Tripoli hotel claims eight lives

Iran Press TV

Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:7PM

At least eight people, including five foreigners, have been killed when gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Libya's capital, Tripoli, as the North African country is beleaguered by fighting between rival militant groups.

A staffer at Corinthia Hotel, requesting anonymity, said five masked assailants clad in bulletproof vests attacked the hotel on Tuesday, after security guards stationed at the gate tried to stop them.

The armed men fatally shot three guards, and made their way into the hotel. They then opened indiscriminate fire in the lobby killing five foreigners, the staffer added.

He further noted that an explosives-laden car went off at the parking lot as he together with rest of the staff and foreign guests were fleeing out the hotel's back doors.

The staffer went on to say that the blast burned at least five cars in the parking lot, and blew out some windows in the hotel's facade.

He said Corinthia Hotel had Italian, British and Turkish guests, but the hotel was largely empty when the assault happened.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the act of terror, naming the attack 'Operation Abu Anas al-Libi', after the Libyan computer specialist, who worked for al-Qaeda and died in New York earlier this month.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.

The country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups that refuse to lay down arms.

Battles among the rival militants, who had participated in the anti-Gaddafi uprising, are mainly over the control of oil facilities in eastern Libya.

MP/SS



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