UN evacuates staff from Tripoli

The evacuation comes hours after Libyan leader escaped a NATO missile strike.

Updated: May 01, 2011, 22:51 PM IST

New York: The United Nations says it has evacuated its international staff from Tripoli because of unrest in the Libyan capital.

Stephanie Bunker, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Sunday that 12 staffers had left the North African country and were now in neighbouring Tunisia.

The evacuation comes hours after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi reportedly escaped a NATO missile strike that a government spokesman said killed one of his sons and three young grandchildren.

Bunker had no further details on the reason for the decision, but demonstrators attacked the British and Italian embassies in Tripoli. The BBC said UN offices were also attacked.

Bunker said the decision did not affect local UN staff. The United Nations sent international staff to Tripoli only last month after OCHA chief Valerie Amos reached an agreement with the Libyan government on a humanitarian presence.

Bunker noted that under the agreement reached by Amos the Libyan government had promised to protect UN staff.

The world body also has international staff in Benghazi, the principal city in the rebel-controlled eastern part of Libya. They were not affected by the decision, Bunker said.

Bureau Report