Updated | Car bomb outside House of Representatives hotel in Tobruk

Vehicle exploded in the hotel car park and was not a suicide attack as initially suggested • Malta's Foreign Affairs Ministry call on Libyan warring parties to "desist from violent means that inflict more harm to their country" 

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

A car bomb exploded early this afternoon near the Dar Al-Salam Hotel in Torbuk where the House of Representatives has been holding its meetings and several members stay, the Libya Herald reported.

The House was in session at the time of the blast.

“The number of casualties is not yet clear but there has been minor damage to the front of the hotel building,” said Marwan Younes Bakr, spokesperson for Tobruk Municipal Council. Initial reports, however, suggest that four people, all soldiers, were injured.

According to the spokesman for the General Chief of Staff, Ahmed Al-Mismari, the vehicle exploded in the hotel car park and was not a suicide attack as initially suggested.

The attackers intended to destroy the building, he added, but failed to do so because they could not get closer to the hotel.

It is the third bomb attack in Tobruk in as many months. Last month, 21 people were injured when a bomb exploded at a crowded junction as cars were queuing at traffic lights.

Following today’s attack, phone and internet communications with Tobruk were briefly cut but have now been restored.

No one has yet claimed responsibility, but Islamists are suspected.

Malta's government condemns ‘spiral of violence in Libya’

In a statement, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs said that it condemns the recent spiral of violence in Libya.

“This, regrettably, continues to fuel confrontation and tensions in an already polarised and dangerous situation,” the Ministry, led by George Vella, said. “We reiterate our strong appeals to all the warring parties in Libya to desist from violent means that inflict more harm to their country and its citizens.

“As a peace-loving people, all Libyans should unite, participate and contribute towards a negotiated political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations.

 The Ministry said that it continues to support the efforts of Bernardino Leon, Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, to bring the main players in Libya around the negotiating table.”Political dialogue remains the only real and effective tool to the Libyan crisis,” the Ministry said. 

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