Wednesday, January 02, 2013

After Destroying North African Country, State Department Warns Against Travel to Occupied Libya

State Dept. warns against travel to Libya

By Guy Taylor
The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The State Department issued Wednesday a new travel warning for Libya, citing "ongoing instability and violence" and strongly advising against all travel to the eastern city of Benghazi, where the U.S. Consulate was decimated by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11.

The warning supersedes a similar notice issued by the State Department a day after the attack, in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and State Department officer Sean Smith were slain.

"The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable," the new warning states. "Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country. U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations, as even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."

The warning comes after a month that saw several clashes between Libyan authorities and armed militant groups in Libya.

According to a report by the Reuters news agency citing security sources, four people were killed Dec. 20, when Libyan government forces clashed with armed demonstrators outside a police station in Benghazi.

The sources said the violence is believed to be linked to the recent detention by Libyan authorities of two men suspected of being involved in several assassinations of security officials in Benghazi.

The State Department ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel to depart Libya following the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomat post in the city.

Wednesday's warning advised against all but essential travel to the Libyan capital of Triploli, and all travel to southern Libya, Benghazi and Bani Walid, a town outside Tripoli.

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