NEWS

Benghazi Terror Threats: Canada Urges Citizens To Flee Libyan City

01/25/2013 02:30 EST | Updated 03/26/2013 05:12 EDT
AP
A Libyan military guard stands in front of one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during the visit of President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. The American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it. Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The Arabic writing on the building reads, " God is Great, and There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger." (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)
OTTAWA - Canada joined several European countries Thursday in urging its citizens to immediately leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi because of the fragile political situation there.

In an advisory posted on its website, the Department of Foreign Affairs also warned against non-essential travel to the African country.

"There is heightened risk of terrorism throughout Libya, including in Benghazi," it warned.

"Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers."

In addition to Benghazi, it said, the security situation in the town of Bani Walid and the regions of Sabha and Kufra is also precarious.

Earlier, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands warned of an imminent threat against westerners in Libya, days after a deadly hostage crisis in neighbouring Algeria. European officials said schools were among the potential targets.

The warnings came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to Congress about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

They also came as French troops battled al-Qaida-linked militants in the West African country of Mali, and followed the deaths of at least 37 foreign hostages seized by extremists in Algeria.

Canada is supporting the Mali mission with a military transport plane. Ottawa said Thursday the C-17 Globemaster would continue to ferry military equipment and vehicles between France and the Malian capital of Bamako until Feb. 15.

_ With files from The Associated Press.