x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Dutch join British in warning citizens to leave Benghazi over 'imminent' threat

The Netherlands joins Britain's Foreign Office in urging its citizens to immediately leave the Libyan city over 'imminent' threat against westerners.

LONDON // The Netherlands is urging its citizens to leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in response to what is described as an imminent threat against Westerners.

Britain issued a similar warning earlier today.

Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman Thijs van Son says the ministry is upgrading its travel warning for Benghazi. He says the Dutch "have reason to believe there is a serious threat coming up" but declined to elaborate.

Van Son says there are four Dutch citizens registered as being in Benghazi and possibly two more.

Earlier today, Britain's Foreign Office urged UK nationals to immediately leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in response to an imminent threat against westerners.

The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to Benghazi since September, and today it said is aware of a "specific and imminent threat".

It urged all British nationals still in the eastern city of Benghazi to "leave immediately" and declined to comment on the nature of the threat.

The warning comes a day after US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton testified to US legislators about the handling of the deadly September 11 attack on the American mission in Benghazi. The attack killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

In addition to the attack on the US consulate, an Italian diplomat's car was fired on by militants

Britain's Foreign Office said it does not have a diplomatic presence in Benghazi, where the Libyan uprising against longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi began in 2011.

Libya's security sharply deteriorated after Gadhafi's ouster and killing.