Deadly Attack on Corinthia Hotel: UN Reacts

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The United Nations Security Council and participants in U.N.-sponsored peace talks for Libya condemned an attack Tuesday at a luxury hotel in Tripoli that killed at least nine people.

A Security Council statement urged all parties in Libya to take part in efforts to address the political and security crises facing the country, which has struggled for stability since the 2011 ouster of leader Moammar Gadhafi.

After two days of “elaborate and constructive” peace talks in Geneva, the U.N. Mission in Libya said that attacks like the one Tuesday will not derail the process of working toward a unity government, but rather “create an incentive for all the Libyan sides to forge ahead.”

A car bomb outside the Corinthia Hotel kicked off the attack, with gunmen then storming the building and firing their weapons. It ended on the 24th floor when the gunmen blew themselves up after a standoff with security forces.

Officials from the militia-backed government that established itself in Tripoli last year said the victims included one American, a French citizen and three people from unspecified Asian nations.

A group calling itself the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State claimed responsibility in an online statement. It called the attack retaliation for the 2013 capture of Abu Anas al-Libi by U.S. forces in 2013.

Al-Libi was suspected in the 1998 al-Qaida bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He died earlier this month in a U.S. prison while awaiting trial.

But Tripoli officials blamed loyalists of Gadhafi, saying the attackers were targeting their prime minister.

Libya’s internationally recognized government, the rival body led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, has been located in Tobruk since the militia-backed group known as Libya Dawn seized Tripoli.

Source: VOA News