At least eight people, including five foreigners, were killed during an attack by MUSLIM terrorists, alleging to represent the Islamic State (ISIS), at a luxury hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
FOX News Mahmoud Hamza, director of Libya’s special deterrence force, told al-Naba television that five foreigners, including two women, as well as a security officer and two of the terrorists, died in the attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. He did not give the nationalities of the foreigners. Islamic terrorists from ISIS in Libya claimed responsibility for the attack.
Essam Al-Naas, a spokesman for a Tripoli security agency, told the Associated Press that a standoff was ongoing Tuesday at the Corinthia Hotel, which sits on the Mediterranean Sea. Police identified the victims as five foreigners and three guards.
The New York Times reported that the militants are claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.
A hotel worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said five masked attackers wearing bulletproof vests stormed the hotel after getting past security at the gates, firing in the air before shooting randomly at staffers. He said the hotel was evacuated before the attackers clashed with the guards and blew up a car bomb in the parking lot.
When they got there, he said a car bomb exploded in the parking lot, only a hundred meters (yards) away. He said this came after a protection force entered the lobby and opened fire on the attackers. He said two guards were immediately killed. The staffer spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared being targeted later by militants. He said the car bomb left at least five cars in the parking lot burned and damaged some windows in the hotel’s facade.
The staffer said the hotel had Italian, British and Turkish guests, but was largely empty at the time of the attack. He said the militia-backed Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi usually resides at the hotel, but was not there Tuesday. The hotel previously came under attack in 2013 when a former prime minister was abducted there.