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Libyan IS group claims hotel attack

A Libyan affiliate of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Tripoli luxury hotel that killed 10 people, including an American and four Europeans.

In a statement posted on jihadi forums today, the group called Islamic State in Tripoli Province said it launched the attack yesterday to avenge the death of Abu Anas al-Libi.

Al-Libi was snatched off a street in Tripoli by US special forces and died in US custody due to complications from liver surgery.

The group identified the attackers as Abu Ibrahim al-Tunsi and Abu Suleiman al-Sudani, noms de guerre that suggest the attackers were Tunisian and Sudanese.

The attack targeted the seaside Corinthia Hotel and also killed five guards.

Two attackers were killed following an hours-long stand-off that included a car bombing.

The online statement said: "The operation is not the last one on the lands of Tripoli. Let the enemies of God, the crusaders and their allies await what would harm them."

Al-Libi was indicted in US federal court over his alleged role in the 1998 al Qaida bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was captured by US troops in 2013.

The IS affiliate had previously claimed a recent attack on the Algerian embassy that wounded three guards. It has also posted pictures of its men touring markets and distributing pamphlets.

A senior US State Department official confirmed that a US citizen was among those killed, and he was named as contractor David Berry, according to Cliff Taylor, chief executive of Virginia security company Crucible.

The online message said those killed were American, French, South Korean and Filipino. Earlier, Essam al-Naasa, a spokesman for a Tripoli security agency, said the dead included an American, a French citizen and three others from the former Soviet Union.

Libya has been plagued by violence between rival militias and governments since its 2011 civil war saw dictator Muammar Gaddafi toppled and killed. A group of Islamist militias now control Tripoli.

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