Italy closes Libyan embassy, repatriates nationals

Defence Minister says Italy is ready to lead a coalition from Europe and north African states to battle the militants in Libya.



By (AFP)

Published: Sun 15 Feb 2015, 8:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:56 PM

Rome - The Italian embassy in Libya, one of the last European missions in the troubled country, was closed on Sunday and its staff repatriated because of mounting insecurity, the foreign ministry said.

In total, about 100 Italians were being evacuated from the country on a boat escorted by the Italian navy, foreign ministry sources said.

Rome on Friday warned its nationals against travelling to Libya and urged those already there to leave as militants gain ground in the violence-plagued country.

Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said in an interview published on Sunday that Italy was ready to lead a coalition from Europe and north African states to battle the militants in Libya.

Powerful militias backing rival governments and parliaments have been battling for control of key cities and the country’s oil riches.

Taking advantage of the chaos, Daesh militants have claimed a string of deadly attacks.

The latest targeted a luxury hotel in Tripoli on January 27, when nine people were killed, five of them foreigners.


More news from WORLD