Aussies warned not to travel to Libya due to terrorism threat

NOW is not the time to travel to Libya if you are an Australian, after a warning of a specific, imminent terrorism threat in Benghazi was issued by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today.

The department released a statement which said there was a "high threat of terrorist attack", an ongoing threat of kidnapping and an "unpredictable security situation" throughout Libya.

As a result of the threat, Australian authorities have issued a "do not travel" advice for all Westerners considering visiting Libya and called for all Australians in Benghazi to leave immediately.

"There is a risk of retaliatory attacks against Western targets in Libya following the French intervention in the conflict in Mali in January 2013," the statement reads.

"A number of militant groups are known to operate in Libya and some may seek to target Western interests.

"Violence continues with sporadic clashes between rival armed militias across Libya."

The Federal Government has closed the Consulate-General embassy in Tripoli until further notice due to the threat, and any Australians who need consular assistance should contact DFAT.

"Against this background, you should be aware that the Australian Government's ability to provide consular assistance to Australians in Libya remains extremely limited," the statement reads.

"There is an ongoing threat of kidnapping in Libya and foreigners may be targeted. Such kidnappings are more likely in sparsely populated border areas.

"We advise you not to travel to the border areas with southern Algeria, Niger, Chad and Sudan because of the presence of armed tribal groups and the threat of kidnapping by terrorists in these areas."

"The area in and around Benghazi remains insecure and subject to a heightened threat of terrorist attack."

To contact the DFAT, call (02) 6261 3305, or the Australian Embassy in Rome on +39 06 85 2721.

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