British navy evacuates nationals from Libya

London - A British navy ship evacuated British nationals from Libya on Sunday, the defence ministry said, as worsening security there is forcing thousands to flee.

The HMS Enterprise, which had been on a Mediterranean deployment, evacuated 110 people, mostly British, from the capital Tripoli, ambassador to Libya Michael Aron wrote on Twitter.

"A number of passengers were transferred to Enterprise by boat and given supplies for the journey," the ministry said in a statement.

The 91-metre survey ship, also designed to support amphibious operations, is expected to arrive in nearby Malta on Monday.

Britain is also planning to temporarily suspend its embassy operations in the troubled north African country, the foreign office said.

Sunday's operation resembles one conducted in 2011 during the bloody uprising that ousted the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, when a Royal Navy ship evacuated foreigners.

Ambassador Aron has said he has "reluctantly" decided to leave due to the worsening local clashes.

"Fighting in #Tripoli worse today.Oil tanks hit again.Fighting in civilian areas.Ordinary people suffering.Militias destroying the city," he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Libya has suffered chronic insecurity since Gaddafi's overthrow, with the new government unable to check militias that helped to remove him and facing a growing threat from Islamist groups.

Fighting between the rival militias has forced the closure of Tripoli's international airport, while Islamist groups are battling army special forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.

In the past week, many countries have ordered their citizens to leave and, in some cases, have evacuated them.

Between 100 and 300 Britons are thought to be in Libya. Many British consular staff were evacuated last Monday.

"Fighting has intensified in Tripoli, including around the British embassy compounds," a foreign office spokesperson said.

"In the light of the deteriorating security situation, we are taking steps temporarily to suspend operations at the British embassy in Tripoli after the planned assisted departure of British nationals," he said.

"We advise against all travel to Libya and urge British nationals in Libya to leave through commercially available means."

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Zulu Jstathought957 2014/08/03 09:40:21 PM
Well done Europe, well done usa, you have caused chaos and instability across the middle east. Congratulations
Neliswa Mlondolozi 2014/08/03 09:55:09 PM
To start a war is no longer easy this is a different era, is better that British have a home to go to, what about Lebones? just asking.
rorypreddy 2014/08/03 10:05:34 PM
Mphotse Mpofu 2014/08/03 11:19:35 PM
The western government killed Gaddafi now they can't bring peace in Libya
Jimmy Mashabela 2014/08/04 08:05:54 AM
Where is bloody NATO now? They killed Gaddafi and there is no order in Libyia today. America and it's criminal friends have brought unrests in many parts of the world, and they cannot restore order after their shenaniganism.
Makhulu Zulu 2014/08/04 08:54:35 AM
Who supplied arms to the rebels to overthrow gaddafi. It was the usa. Always poking its dirty nose.