French, British, Dutch urged to exit Benghazi
By McClatchy Newspapers
Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 8:16 p.m.
Three European countries urged their citizens to leave Libya's restive eastern city of Benghazi because of a threatening message against Europeans found outside a foreign-run company, a Libyan congressman said Thursday.
Britain, Germany and the Netherlands urged their citizens to leave Benghazi, calling the threat “imminent” but offering no specifics.
The warnings were issued one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on Capitol Hill and promised that her department would improve security in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack at the U.S. consulate and a CIA annex in Benghazi. The assault killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The European nations' stance that Benghazi no longer is safe underscores how little Libya's newly elected government controls the security and how much militants move freely throughout eastern Libya.
The warning occurs one week after militants stormed a natural gas complex in Algeria, about 40 miles from the Libyan border. The warning also could threaten oil production in Libya, which holds the largest crude-oil reserves in Africa and is home to several foreign-run oil plants.
Abdel Rahman Sewehi, a member of Libya's General National Congress and chairman of the defense committee, said officials in Benghazi discovered the message on a wall earlier this week outside the company. The threat to kill Europeans is in response to intervention in Mali led by France.
Since 2011, Libyan officials have not allowed Westerners to travel by car over the Egyptian-Libyan border, letting only nationals from those two nations pass.
Despite that, the announcement by the three nations caught Libyan officials and residents by surprise, and set off conjecture that the U.S. military is preparing to orchestrate an attack in retaliation for the Sept. 11 attack.
In a briefing with reporters on Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested there is no immediate attack plans because the United States has not determined who were the 70 men who stormed the compound and set it ablaze.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Korea ups air defense ante
- North Korea purges Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle
- India’s governing party trounced in state elections
- France bound by role in Africa
- Central African leader says he lacks control of ex-allies
- North Korea leader apparently boots uncle from post
- Egypt strikes a perilous repose
- Study: Afghan copter choice not best
- Becoming extra wife is fantasy in Kazakhstan
- South Africans of all races, backgrounds pray for Mandela