Car Explodes Outside Libyan Hotel

June 1: A car is seen burning after it exploded outside a hotel in Benghazi, Libya. (Fox News)

June 1: A car is seen burning after it exploded outside a hotel in Benghazi, Libya. (Fox News)

A car exploded Wednesday outside a hotel in Benghazi where a Fox News crew is staying.

Five cars were completely blown to pieces outside the Tebesty Hotel, according to Fox News' Dan Springer.

One person was taken away by rebel forces after the explosion, Springer reports.

The hotel is where foreign diplomats stay in the Libyan rebels' de facto capital of Benghazi.

The target of the explosion is not known. Rebel spokesman Mahmoud Shammam said the explosion was caused by a hand grenade.

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Abdul-Basit al-Shihida, a senior rebel security official, blamed Qaddafi's agents. "The initial investigation showed that it was a TNT bomb that was thrown under the car. We have video from the hotel that shows the cars." The video did not show anyone throwing a bomb, but he insisted the bomb, about 200 grams (7 ounces) of TNT, was not inside the vehicle."

Jalal al-Gallal, another rebel spokesman, said the explosion caused no injuries or deaths. The burning car sent plumes of black smoke into the air.

"It's a cowardly act," he said, adding that rebels assume it was carried out by elements of the regime of Libyan ruler Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Within an hour, firefighters put out the blazes. Charred car parts could be seen in the parking lot.

A crowd gathered at the scene, shouting, "Libya is Free." Rebel forces tried to cordon off the protesters.

Driver Ahmed Gulak, 35, a driver, said he was in the hotel when the explosion went off. "I heard an explosion and went out to see what happened. I saw two cars on fire," he said, blaming agents of the Gadhafi regime. He said he drove his own car away from the scene despite a shattered windshield.

Barak Varfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, was at the scene of the explosion. "This could be a first step in a terror campaign by Qaddafi to instill fear and instability in rebel-held areas," he told The Associated Press.

The car blast was the first attack of its kind in Benghazi since NATO started its bombing campaign in mid-March and helped drive government troops away from the city. Despite months of fierce conflict between rebel forces and Qaddafi's military, Benghazi has been calm.

This comes as a United Nations panel says Libyan government forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The U.N. investigators says opposition forces also committed "some acts which would constitute war crimes."

The report by three U.N.-appointed experts published Wednesday called on both sides to conduct transparent and exhaustive investigations and bring those responsible for abuses to justice.

The experts based their finds on interviews with 350 people in government and rebel-held parts of Libya, and neighboring countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.