Britain will close its embassy in Tripoli on Aug. 4, after fighting between rival armed factions spread in the Libyan capital, officials said. Staff were being evacuated to Tunisia where a temporary office was being set up, the British Ambassador to Libya announced on his Twitter account. "The risk of getting caught in the crossfire is too great," he tweeted. "Despite everything I have faith in Libya & its wonderful people."
Britain was one of the last western countries with an embassy open in Tripoli after two weeks of street fighting between rival militias forced the United States, the United Nations and European diplomatic staff to leave the North African country. The foreign office said in a statement late on Friday it would no longer be able to provide consular services in Tripoli after Aug. 4 when it would suspended embassy operations. Fighting in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi is the worst since the 2011 civil war that ended four decades of Muammar Gaddafi's rule, increasing international worries Libya is becoming a failed state.
First published August 2 2014, 3:40 AM