Travel Alert on Libya: Worsening Humanitarian Condition Makes Travelling Dangerous

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By Athena Yenko | August 5, 2014 11:59 AM EST

The Worsening humanitarian condition in Libya makes travel too dangerous, the Australian government warns.

REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newsp
Bullet holes are seen in a car at a checkpoint on the Egyptian border with Sudan and Libya, which was attacked on Saturday, in Wadi al-Gadid governorate July 19, 2014. Gunmen killed 21 Egyptian military border guards near the frontier with Libya on Saturday, highlighting a growing threat from an area that security officials say has become a haven for militants seeking to topple the Cairo government. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN EGYPT

Australians are being sternly advised against travelling to Libya because of precarious terrorist attack that poses high risk of kidnapping among foreigners. The Libyan government and Western interests had been subjected to continued acts of terrorism - most rampant in Benghazi region and in the southern desert regions and in Tripoli.

Various diplomatic missions and international humanitarian organisations had already pull their staff out of Libya.

"You should be aware that the Australian government's ability to provide consular assistance to Australians in Libya remains extremely limited," the government warns.

For the Australians already in Libya before the chaos erupted, the government underlined that they should depart Libya immediately provided that it is safe to do so.

A limited number of flights are leaving Misrata and Maitega airports for Cairo, Malta, Tunis and Istanbul but arrival and departures may change at short notice.

Australians in Libya who wish to leave should urgently contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Operations Centre on +61 2 62613305 or the Australian Embassy in Rome on +39 06 85 2721.

There had been various clashes between armed groups in the areas around the Tripoli International Airport. Hence, the airport is closed until further notice and travellers are highly advised to contact their airlines prior travelling.

For those who had decided to stay, it is highly recommended that they have appropriate personal security measures in place, seek professional security advice, have contingency plans and take out kidnapping insurance, the government warns.

Foreigners were already fleeing Libya as the violence that erupted Saturday had already claimed the lives of 124 people and wounded 500.

According to a report from AFP, the transitional government said that "several hundred" families were already displaced and that petrol, bottled gas and food supplies were already in very limited supply.

"We're in a situation where we have two different authorities: a legislature in Tobruk and another on the ground which dominates the three big cities," political activist Salah al-Bakush told AFP.

The only safe region would be Tunisia, however, the region refused to take foreigners unless they can prove that they would be immediately sent home.

"Our situation was desperate, that's why we exploded on Friday and tried to force our way across the border. We want to go home," Ahmed Ali, a 42-year-old Egyptian labourer said.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newsp / )
Bullet holes are seen in a car at a checkpoint on the Egyptian border with Sudan and Libya, which was attacked on Saturday, in Wadi al-Gadid governorate July 19, 2014. Gunmen killed 21 Egyptian military border guards near the frontier with Libya on Saturday, highlighting a growing threat from an area that security officials say has become a haven for militants seeking to topple the Cairo government. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper (EGYPT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN EGYPT
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