Militants loyal to Daesh claimed responsibility Wednesday for a complex attack on a hotel in Libya’s capital, signaling an expansion of the jihadist group’s reach in the chaotic North African state while raising questions about the extent of coordination between leaders in Syria and Iraq, The Washington Post reported.
The attack on the Corinthia hotel Tuesday, in which gunmen burst into the lobby and set off a car bomb in the parking lot, left 10 dead, including an American and four other foreigners. An affiliate of Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack and released photos of two suicide bombers it said took part.
Libya is increasingly taking on the appearance of a failed state, with its elected government forced to reside in the far eastern part of the country while a loose alliance of militias has set up a rival government in Tripoli. Fighting rages between government forces and Islamist militias in the second-largest city, Benghazi. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced, embassies have been closed and diplomats have fled, along with hundreds of thousands of foreign laborers.
The chaos following the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising has provided fertile ground for the rise of Islamist groups, including a number that have pledged allegiance to Daesh, which controls a third of both Iraq and Syria and has encouraged attacks worldwide.