Libya: Russia Evacuates Embassy Staff

Libya says can't guarantee safety of staff amid violent protests.

Tags: Libya Russia
Adam Ross ,

Burning car in front of the Russian embassy i
Burning car in front of the Russian embassy i

Russian embassy staff in Libya have been evacuated following an attack Wednesday on its Tripoli compound.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Tripoli had been attacked last night by a "group of militants" after Russian national Ekaterina Ustyuzhaninova killed a Libyan officer and stabbed the officer's mother.

One of the Libyan attackers was killed late Wednesday night and another four injured as guards at the Russian embassy fought off the armed mob.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the decision to evacuate the staff and their families had been taken after Libya’s foreign minister said the country's authorities were no longer able to guarantee their safety.  

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz visited the embassy to advise the Russian ambassador that Libya would not be able to guarantee the safety of Russian embassy staff "at this stage."  

In response, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his Libyan counterpart demanding the protection of Russian nationals and embassy property.

According to AFP, Russia's embassy staff were already in neighboring Tunisia, with officials saying the group would be flown back to Russia on Friday.