At least 9 killed in attack on Libyan hotel, including one American

Gunmen kill four foreigners and five guards at a luxury hotel in Tripoli, Libya

Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Tuesday, killing four foreigners and five guards, and triggered an hours-long standoff that ended when two assailants set off a grenade that killed them, officials said.

A senior State Department official confirmed the death of one U.S. citizen in the attack on the Corinthia Hotel, which sits along the Mediterranean Sea. The official did not provide further details.

The attack, which began in the morning, included a car bombing, said Essam Naas, a spokesman for a Tripoli security agency.

After several hours of a standoff with Libyan security personnel, the attackers threw a grenade that killed themselves and a security guard. Ten people were wounded in the attack, including security guards and guests.

Earlier in the day, Mahmoud Hamza, commander of the so-called Special Deterrent Force, told private satellite television station Al Nabaa that five foreigners were killed, without elaborating, but Naas later revised the casualty toll.

Since leader Moammar Kadafi's ouster and killing in 2011, Libya has been torn among competing militias and tribes vying for power.

The Malta-owned hotel is where the United Nations support mission in Libya holds its meetings. The mission is currently hosting political talks with rival Libyan groups in Geneva, trying to resolve the country's political and security crisis.

Amid months-long violence, Libya's elected parliament was forced to relocate to the far-eastern city of Tobruk after the Islamist-allied militias seized Tripoli and the second-largest cit, Benghazi. The internationally recognized Cabinet meets in Bayda, also in the east.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

2:44 p.m. This article was updated with confirmation of an American death.

1:47 p.m.: This article was updated with the death toll rising to nine and the State Department looking into reports of an American casualty.

5:24 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details  and background.

3:26 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with additional details and background. 

This article was originally published at 2:30 a.m.

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