Algerian state-run energy giant Sonatrach has repatriated its employees working in strife-torn Libya, a government official said Tuesday, days after Algiers closed its diplomatic missions in Tripoli over security concerns.
"It`s a preventative measure that is not linked to any threat," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Some 50 Sonatrach employees, most of them engineers working at two sites in Libya where the company has exploration acreage, were flown back to Algeria.
The Algerian foreign ministry said on Friday that it had closed its embassy and consulate in the Libyan capital, because of a "real and imminent threat" to its diplomats, with Saudi Arabia following suit at the weekend.
Libya has suffered a series of attacks on its leaders and foreign diplomats in the increasingly lawless North African country, three years after the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Sonatrach announced in July 2012 that it was resuming its operations in the Ghadames basin near the Libyan-Algerian border, where it had made two oil discoveries, after insisting at that time that its interests were not threatened.