S Korea raises travel warning on Libya after attacks

S Korea has upgraded its warning against travel to Libya following a spate of violent attacks and looting at South Korean-run construction sites.

Updated: Feb 22, 2011, 12:24 PM IST

Seoul: South Korea has upgraded its
warning against travel to Libya following a spate of violent attacks and looting at South Korean-run construction sites,
officials said Tuesday.

The foreign ministry urged all citizens without urgent
business to return home, or to cancel or delay plans to travel
to the country.

The warning came a day after some 500 Libyans stormed
and looted a South Korean construction site west of the
capital city of Tripoli, injuring three South Korean and about
15 Bangladeshi workers.

Looters yesterday also attacked two other sites of
another South Korean builder, taking cash, computers and
vehicles.

No injuries were reported after those incidents in the
town of Zawia near the capital and another site 100 kilometres
(62 miles) east of Tripoli, the ministry said.

The latest wave of rioting began last Friday when
hundreds of Libyans stormed a construction site at Darnah in
the east of the country and set fire to buildings.

Officials quoted by Yonhap news agency said
anti-government protests appear to have fuelled the rioting,
which is thought to have started amid discontent over the
country`s housing policy.

On January 14-15, hundreds of Libyans raided four
South Korean-run construction sites, destroying heavy
equipment and setting vehicles and other facilities on fire.

That riot was reportedly prompted by a senior Tripoli
official`s remarks that homes being built by foreign firms
belong to the Libyan people and that they have the right to
live in them.

The foreign ministry said the government would draw up
plans to evacuate South Koreans from Libya in case of
emergency, including special flights.

There are currently about 1,400 South Koreans in the
country, of whom some 1,000 work for companies.

PTI