Western countries warn nationals to leave Libya

Western nations today warned their citizens to leave Libya, where intensifying fighting between militias was threatening to destabilise the country.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 28, 2014, 01:40 AM IST

Paris: Western nations today warned their citizens to leave Libya, where intensifying fighting between militias was threatening to destabilise the country.

"Given the deteriorating security situation, France is asking its nationals to leave Libya," the French foreign ministry said in the latest warning. Around 100 French nationals are in the north African country.

Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States have also called on their citizens to get out of Libya.

"The situation is extremely unpredictable and uncertain," the German foreign ministry said.

"German nationals are at increased risk of kidnapping and attacks."
Two weeks of fighting between militias in Libya`s capital Tripoli have left 97 people dead.

The Dutch government said its departure request to its estimated 70 citizens in Libya was "urgent".

"Forty Dutch citizens registered with the embassy in the capital Tripoli have... Been warned by email and SMS," said a foreign ministry statement.

The Dutch embassy, comprising five diplomats and ten local staff, is preparing for "temporary closure" after assisting citizens who choose to leave, added the statement.

The United States evacuated staff from its Libyan embassy under air cover on Saturday as they faced a "real risk" from fierce fighting around Tripoli airport, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

The airport was closed on July 13 following clashes between armed groups in the area.

Britain later updated its advice to warn against travel to Libya, and told those already there to leave.

"Due to the ongoing and greater intensity of fighting in Tripoli and wider instability throughout Libya, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Libya," the ministry`s website said.