Tripoli, 30 July 2013:
A car-bomb was defused outside Tripoli’s five-star Mahari Radisson Blu Hotel last night.
“The car had eleven explosive devices inside and ten seven-litre containers of petrol,” spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, Rami Kaal, told the Libya Herald today. He added that the devices, which were all connected, had been set for remote detonation.
Security personnel, however, secured the area and safely deactivated the explosives at around 7.30 pm, he said, after an unknown person reported the vehicle to the authorities. The car, a Hyundai Verna, had been left near one of the hotel’s security barriers, Kaal added.
“None of the staff knew anything about this,” an employee at the Radisson told the Libya Herald. “I was working all evening, until very late last night, walking around the hotel and I didn’t see or hear of any car or any problem.”
The Radisson has recently beefed up its security with the installation of a new CCTV system and today there were two Libyan Army technicals parked outside the premises. It is also considering investing in a shatterproof lamination system for the hotel’s windows, to prevent injury in case of any attack.
Security barriers, which stop cars from parking directly outside the hotel, have been in place since April this year, following a bomb-threat to the Libya Movie Awards, which were being held in the Radisson’s theatre.
Yesterday’s car-bomb was the second attack targeting one of Tripoli’s five-star hotels in a week. Last Tuesday, a mortar was fired at the Corinthia Hotel from the car-park of a nearby block of flats. The missile never reached its target and, instead, destroyed an elderly couple’s flat. In Benghazi, four car-bombs have exploded in the last three days, killing one man and injuring some thirteen people.
Kaal said that the Ministry of Interior was calling upon all Libyans to immediately report any suspicious car to the relevant authorities.
He also requested that any car-thefts be promptly reported, to prevent innocent parties being implicated in crimes. The bombs outside the Radisson, he explained, were placed in a stolen car, which had been taken a week ago.