A US citizen was among those killed Tuesday in an attack on a luxury hotel popular with diplomats and officials in the Libyan capital Tripoli, a senior American official confirmed.
Libyan officials told AFP five foreigners were among at least nine killed when gunmen set off a car bomb outside the Corinthia Hotel, stormed the building firing on guests and then detonated bomb belts.
“We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Libya. We have no additional details to share at this time,” a senior State Department official told reporters in Washington.
Separately, France confirmed that one of its citizens was among those killed. Libyan security officials said a South Korean and two Filipinas were also found among the dead.
None of those killed have yet been identified by name.
After setting off a car bomb outside the Corinthia, three militants rushed inside and opened fire, Issam al-Naass, a security services spokesman, told AFP in Tripoli.
They made it to the 24th floor of the hotel, a major hub of diplomatic and government activity, before being surrounded by security forces and detonating explosive belts they were wearing, he said.
The dead included three security guards killed in the initial attack, five foreigners shot dead by the gunmen and a hostage who died when the attackers blew themselves up.
At least five people were also wounded, including two Filipina employees hurt by broken glass from the car bomb.