US pulls back personnel of Libya after Tripoli clashes

The United States evacuated its diplomats from the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday.

Deputy spokesperson for the US State Department Marie Harf said the decision came “due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias” and that ” the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting… between armed Libyan factions.”

Clashes at the Libyan Tripoli airport erupted Friday night between rival militias seeking control over the international airport.

The clashes, the most violent since the overthrow of former president Muammar Gaddafi,   started on 13 July and have killed 47 and injured 120, according to official estimates from the Libyan Ministry of Health.

The clashes began when militants backed by fighters from the city of Misrata launched an assault on the airport, which has been under the control of militants from the town of Zitan for the past three years. Previously those militias had fought together against the overthrown president.

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