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British diplomats attacked on way out of Libya

The procession of the British embassy in Libya was subject to intense gunfire on Sunday as it left the capital Tripoli on the way to neighboring Tunisia, a Libyan Foreign Ministry official said.

“The attack did not cause any human casualties, but the vehicles of the British mission were affected,” Wafaa Buqaeiqis, the undersecretary of the Libyan Foreign Ministry, wrote on her Twitter account.

She said the staff of the British embassy left Libya upon instructions from the British Foreign Ministry, which wanted to downsize the British diplomatic mission in her country.

Buqaeiqis did not, however, mention whether all the members of the British diplomatic mission had already left Libya.

The Libya Revolutionaries’ Operations Room, an affiliate of the Libyan army, meanwhile, said that its members had rescued the members of the British diplomatic mission from an attack on their procession by militants western the British capital Tripoli.

The room posted on its webpage photos of the vehicles of the mission, while bullet holes make themselves clear on the doors of the cars.

“We had responded to these criminals and saved the British diplomats,” the room said.

The Libyan capital Tripoli has been the scene of fierce fights between armed militias controlling Tripoli International Airport and troops loyal to retired army general Khalifa Haftar for several days thus far.

The clashes are leaving a large number of people on both sides dead, but are also scaring foreign nationals out of the Libyan capital altogether.

On Saturday, the United States decided to suspend the work its embassy in Tripoli, which is located in close proximity to the airport, and also evacuated the embassy staff to neighboring Tunisia.

Other countries are advising their nationals to immediately leave Libya amid expectations that the tempo of violence would heighten in the next few days.

Libya has been on a high wave of turmoil since the downfall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011.

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