Libyan security forces have defused a dozen bombs that had been placed inside a car that was parked outside a luxury hotel in the capital Tripoli, the interior ministry said.

The incident on Tuesday comes a week after another hotel in Tripoli was thought to have been targeted by a rocket that missed and hit a nearby apartment building.

Interior ministry spokesperson Rami Kaal said the car, which did not have any licence plates, had been parked outside the Radisson Hotel, popular among foreign diplomats and business people.

Inside were 12 bombs linked by an electrical circuit and 10 seven-litre cans of petrol. The explosives, which had been set to be activated from a distance, were defused.

Assailants have frequently attacked Western targets in Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 armed uprising backed by NATO air power. Most attacks have occurred in the east of the country, the birthplace of the uprising, which is an Islamist stronghold.

On July 23, a rocket hit an apartment block in central Tripoli but caused no casualties. The building is located in a residential area between the Corinthia Hotel and a tower that houses the British, Canadian and Maltese embassies, as well as foreign companies. Residents said the target of the attack was probably the Corinthia.

Many Libyans blame political rivalries for the problems plaguing a country awash with militias and weaponry left over from the 2011 revolution.

Source: Agencies