Libya: BP workers withdrawn over security concerns


Libyan gunmen surround the Libyan Justice Ministry on April 30, 2013, in the capital Tripoli.


Mahmud Turkia

Citing security concerns, oil giant BP says it's withdrawing some non-essential staff from operations in Libya.

BP called the move a "precautionary measure" and told BBC News it planned to monitor the security situation amid recent political unrest in the nation once ruled by dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

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Britain's Foreign Office withdrew some of its embassy staff from Tripoli last week.

Militias have stormed and surrounded government buildings in Tripoli in recent weeks, demanding that Gaddafi-era officials be expelled.

While parliament recently passed a law against Gaddafi-era officials holding office and a siege on government buildings was lifted by Sunday, wide swaths of the oil-producing desert country remain out of government control and security at oil fields is shaky at best.

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BP has a limited presence in Libya, although company officials in January said they were reconsidering new plans to drill there due to safety and security concerns.

The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and against all travel to other parts of Libya.