LIBYA

Washington monitors upsurge of violence in Libya

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 9:09pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 9:12pm

Washington is closely monitoring an upsurge of violence in Libya, but has not decided yet whether to order the closure of its embassy in Tripoli, a US official said.

"We remain very concerned about the violence over the weekend in Tripoli and Benghazi," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, calling on all sides to "refrain from violence".

While Saudi Arabia on Monday closed its embassy in Tripoli and evacuated diplomats, Psaki said: "We have made no decisions to move any of our personnel out of Libya."

The United States has been monitoring events in Libya ever since the late ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in a 2012 militant attack on a US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The mission, which was badly damaged in a fire, was closed in the wake of the attack, and embassy staff in Tripoli were reduced to emergency levels.