France has evacuated French and British nationals from Libya due to the worsening security situation in the north African country. The French embassy has also been temporarily closed.
“We have taken all necessary measures to allow those French nationals who so wish to leave the country temporarily,” the French ministry said in a statement.
Unnamed diplomatic sources said over 40 French nationals and seven Britons were evacuated out of Libya by ship overnight.
The statement also said the French embassy in Tripoli has temporarily closed and that diplomatic activities would continue to be conducted from Paris for the time being.
Earlier in the week, France had advised its nationals to leave the country immediately and contact the embassy for evacuation.
Other European countries including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have also advised their nationals to leave the country.
The United States evacuated staff from its Libyan embassy last week.
In the last two weeks Libya has descended into its deadliest violence since the 2011 ouster of Muamar Gaddafi. Most of the fighting has been concentrated at Tripoli’s main airport, where rival militias have been battling for control.
On Sunday, a rocket hit a large fuel container near the airport, causing a fire which spread to a second storage site on Monday. On Tuesday, Libya’s interim government said the Italian government and ENI were sending planes to stem the blaze.
hc/tj (Reuters, AFP)