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Josh Rogin

Disputed Libyan Leader Blames Rival for Hotel Attack

Omar al-Hassi, one of Libya's two warring prime ministers, say his rival and Egypt killed an American contractor.
A prime minister.

A prime minister.

Photographer: Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The terrorist attack at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, that killed at least nine civilians including an American, was perpetrated by a rival government with the help of Egypt, not by Islamic State militants, according to the head of the disputed government that currently controls the capital. Whether or not he is to be believed, the assault is a stark reminder of how Libya has deteriorated into chaos and civil war since the U.S.-led overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. If the Obama administration believes that it bears some responsibility for Libya, there's been no sign of it.

Omar al-Hassi presides over the Government of National Salvation and is the head of the Libya Dawn coalition, a group that controls the majority of the country. His regime is locked in a battle with an internationally recognized government that fled to the eastern city of Tobruk last August, headed by General Khalifa Haftar.