By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Tunis, 28 January 2015:
Condemnation of yesterday’s deadly attack on Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel in which at least ten people . . .[restrict]are reported to have died have been made by the UN Security Council and numerous other countries.
The UN Security Council in New York said it strongly condemned the incident and insisted that “the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors” of the assault had to be brought to justice. Expressing its condolences to the families of the victims “of this heinous act”, it reiterated its full support for UNSMIL head Bernardino Leon in his efforts to achieve a successful dialogue between all the Libyan parties, urging them to engage constructively with him.
In a joint statement, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, the UK and the US said that such an act of terrorism must not be allowed to undermine Libya’s political process. “We call on Libyans to condemn this and all acts of terrorism and to seek an end to the ongoing conflict, which only exacerbates the terrorist threat,” the countries said.
Like the Security Council, they too said they continued to support Leon’s efforts. Commending those participating in the talks in Geneva, the six governments called on Libyans boycotting the dialogue “to engage seriously in this process to avert a further deterioration in the humanitarian situation experienced by ordinary Libyans as a result of the ongoing conflict, and to prevent the further erosion of Libya’s sovereignty and security”.
They also called on all sides “to refrain from any actions which undermine the prospects for a successful political dialogue, including any effort to divert necessary supplies of food, electricity and water from major population centres”.
Earlier, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki had, at her daily press conference in Washington, read out a statement condemning the attack and sending condolences to the victims and their families. “Violence will not resolve Libya’s problems, and this attack cannot be allowed to impede the critical work that is underway to find a political solution,” she said, adding that the department was aware of reports of an American citizen being killed in the attack “We’re closely tracking this incident,” she said.
In Ottawa, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said that his country was “outraged” at the assault. “This cowardly and reprehensible attack illustrates the readiness of extremists to capitalise on the instability in Libya and their firm opposition to a peaceful, secure and prosperous Libya,” he said, likewise offering his condolences to the families of those killed.
In Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a similar condemnation, adding that Turkey supported the continuation of an inclusive political dialogue process in the country. Peace and security in Libya could be achieved only through a national unity government, it said.
The reconstituted General National Congress in Tripoli has also issued a statement condemning the attack. The aim, it said, was to undermine security in the city. Th
Despite mounting indications that Daesh may have been responsible, the Hassi regime in Tripoli, of which the rump Congress is a main prop, continues to deny any Islamist involvement and puts the blame squarely on Qaddafi supporters and Khalifa Hafter and Operation Dignity, which it equates as one and the same.
Yesterday, the regime put out a statement saying that the attack was an attempt by Hafter, his foreign backers (i.e. Egypt) and Qaddafi elements to assassinate Tripoli PM Omar Al-Hassi, who operates out of the hotel. Omar Khadrawi, head of the Central Security Directorate in Tripoli, also told the pro-GNC/Libya Dawn Al-Nabaa TV that Qaddafi supporters were behind the attack.
On the same channel, Mohamed Bayou, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and political adviser to Hassi, claimed that a Sudanese man who worked a guard at a farm supposedly owned by Hafter was one of the attackers.
The announcement followed claims by Daesh that one of its attackers was Sudanese.
It named him as Abu Sulaiman Al-Sudani. It also named another attacker as Abu Ibraheem Al-Tunsi; both names are presumably assumed but designate their nationalities. A photo of the latter posted by Daesh appears to match a security photo of one of those entering the hotel.
Tripoli security now say that the two may have been foreign.
Meanwhile, Hassi officials are also reported saying that the two attackers may not committed suicide by detonating grenade when they were cornered, that the grenade which killed them may have gone off by accident.
It is generally accepted that Qaddafi and Hafter supporters would not commit suicide.
The Hassi regime and its supporters have for weeks denied the presence of Daesh in the capital, saying that statements to the contrary are an attempt to show that it is not in control the city or providing security there.
For its part, the Thinni government in Beida, in its condemnation of the attack, said that it proved the existence of Daesh terrorists in Tripoli. Those in power in the capital were turning a blind eye to the acts of terrorism carried out there by extremists, it said.
The same point was made by the House of Representatives in a separate statement condemning the attack.
Confusion still surrounds the number of people killed and their nationalities and identities. One, an American named as David Berry, has been confirmed as dead by his employers, Virigia-based security company Crucible. The FBI is reported to be opening an investigation into his death. Four other Americans are reported to have been evacuated from the hotel during the attack.
A Frenchman, named as Xavier Catani and reported to be on secondment to Buraq Air as a pilot, is also said to have been killed. However, a separate source says that a Jordanian pilot and two stewardesses working for Buraq were killed.
There is general agreement that two foreign women are among the dead and that they may have been “east Asian” but it is not known if they were Buraq staff.
Also said to have died are at least two, possibly three Libya security men, one of them an officer. Other reports has the number at five.
Other reports speak of three people from Tajikistan killed and two Koreans.
The Italian and Philippine embassies have said that none of their citizens are among the dead. [/restrict]