U.S. Embassy in Libya closes, staff evacuates amid intense militia fighting

John Kerry - Public Domain

After days of heavy combat among militias that highlights the chaos in Libya, the U.S. Embassy has been shut down and its staff taken to safety in neighboring Tunisia, the State Department said Saturday.

Scores of people have been killed and injured in the battles, which have raged for weeks and shut down the international airport in Tripoli, the capital.

The U.S. Embassy is near the area where some of the heaviest fighting has occurred, and the rival militias are armed with heavy weapons that fell into their hands after the uprising three years ago that toppled leader Moammar Kadafi. Several other embassies have been abandoned, and United Nations missions and aid groups also have fled the violence.

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