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Islamic State branch in Libya claims responsibility for hotel attack

By Andrew V. Pestano
Islamic State branch in Libya claims responsibility for hotel attack
The attack happened on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli's northern coast in Libya. Google Maps.

TRIPOLI, Libya, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A Libyan group claiming to be a division of the Islamic State said it was responsible for the terrorist attack at a hotel in Tripoli that killed at least 10 people.

The group identified the attackers as Abu Ibraheem Al-Tunsi and Abu Sulaiman Al-Sudani and released pictures of them. The group calls itself the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State.

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It said the attack was retaliation for the capture and death of Abu Anas al-Libi, an alleged al-Qaida member linked to bombings at U.S. embassies in Africa who died this month while in a U.S. hospital.

The Libya Dawn government in Tripoli said the attack was an attempt to assassinate Libya's Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi.

Five Libyans and five foreigners -- one American, one French and three from Tajikistan -- were killed in the attack.

The gunmen began the attack after a car bomb detonated in the hotel's parking lot.

"I suddenly heard shootings and saw people running towards me," a witness told BBC. "We all escaped from the back [of the hotel] through the garage underground. The hotel did a lockdown after that."

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