"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all
travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in
Libya depart immediately," the State Department said in a new
"Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S.
citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or
U.S. NGO's, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted
for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens
currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart
immediately," it said.
"The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and
unstable," the warning added.
The last travel warning on Dec. 12 strongly advised against all
but essential travel to Tripoli and against traveling outside
The warning followed an attack on Libya's parliament, the
General National Congress, on May 18 by armed groups, and came
as the leader of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia in
Libya's Benghazi city warned the United States on Tuesday
against interfering in the country's affairs.
Ansar al-Sharia is listed in the United States as a foreign
terrorist organization and is accused of orchestrating the 2012
attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which U.S.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died.
Mohamed Zahawi, who heads the Benghazi brigade of Ansar
al-Sharia, accused the United States on Tuesday of backing
renegade former General Khalifa Haftar, who started a
self-declared campaign to purge Libya of Islamist militants.
The United States has an embassy in Tripoli but closed its
consulate in Benghazi after the 2012 attack.
In its latest warning, the State Department said it would limit
staffing at the embassy in Tripoli and offer only limited
emergency services to citizens in Libya.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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