Libya Herald reporter:
Malta, 27 January, 2015:
There has been an explosion this morning at Tripoli’s Corinthia hotel with initial reports saying that . . .[restrict]some of the hotel’s security personel have been killed. A source known to Libya Herald said that the ”whole building shook”.
Smoke could be clearly seen from a distance billowing from the Corithia hotel entrance or car park.
Early and unconfirmed reports suggest that the explosive device may have been placed in a car in the hotel’s car park which caused damage to the hotel’s entrance and some cars.
The power supply to the hotel has also been reported as lost, and it is not clear if that was caused by the explosion or by the perpetrators. The hotel is known to have a generator.
Libya’s official Al-Wataniya TV channel has reported that the official spokesperson for Tripoli’s Joint Security Room, Isam Naas, has said that one of the perpetrators of the attack has been arrested.
Elsewhere, Naas was quoted as saying that three suspected perpetrators were surrounded inside the hotel.
Reports that the perpetrators are holding hostages are unconfirmed and the early reports that some of these hostages are VIPs, non-Libyan nationals or are diplomats – are still unconfirmed.
It is also reported that three filipino workers in the hotel had been injured.
There is at this point also no confirmation social network news that the incident was a suicide mission.
A source has confirmed to this paper that Dat il Imad and Tripoli Tower were evacuated.
A friend of this publication who works in the very nearby Dat Il Imad office complex, told Libya Herald that ‘’At first I thought it was in our building because it shook so badly’’. He confirmed that Dat Il Imad was immediately evacuated.
The friend who asked not to be identified and was safely at home when talking to Libya Herald, said that it there was a sudden rush by employees working in the area to get home. ‘‘It took a while. There was lots of traffic, obviously with everyone trying to get home’’.
He added that he was very surprised that there was absolutely ‘’no security at all coming into work today’’ to Dat Il Imad.
‘’One would think with these threats going round they would think to place police cars and not allow people to park near buildings’’, he added referring to the reported threats against the Dat Il Imad complex a few days ago.
More details to follow.