At least eight people, including five foreigners, were killed when gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
A militant group claiming affiliation with Islamic State had claimed responsibility. Islamic State has seized swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory.
Gunfire could be heard inside the Corinthia Hotel, Tripoli’s most prominent hotel where government officials and foreign delegations often stay. There were conflicting reports about the exact number and the identity of those killed as the gunmen battled security forces.
“Eight people were killed during the storming of the hotel... Five foreigners, two of them are women. (Also) one security man and two of the attackers,” said Mahmoud Hamza of the Tripoli security force.
Earlier, officials said three security guards had been killed in a car bomb blast just before the gunmen stormed the hotel. It was not immediately clear whether the three were among the eight deaths reported by Hamza or were additional casualties.
Hamza did not give the nationality of the foreigners killed. Other officials gave conflicting accounts of whether any foreign nationals had been killed in the attack.
The SITE monitoring service said the attack was revenge for the death of Abu Anas al-Liby, a suspected al Qaeda member accused of helping plan the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
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