British, Dutch and German officials urged their citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday, warning of an impending but undescribed threat.
“We are now aware of a specific and imminent threat to Westerners in Benghazi, and urge any British nationals who remain there against our advice to leave immediately,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement Thursday.
Britain had already warned its citizens against traveling to much of Libya since September, the same month the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were slain in Benghazi. Its latest travel advisory warns of "a high threat from terrorism," as well as "retaliatory attacks" against Westerners after the recent French military intervention in Mali. It was not immediately clear Thursday whether the warnings were tied to the ongoing battles in the West African nation.
[Updated, 11:55 a.m. Jan. 24: In the wake of the European warnings, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said it had "no specific information pointing to specific, imminent threats against U.S. citizens," but added that "the potential for violence and kidnappings targeting Westerners in Benghazi is significant."