Libyan militia fighters enter U.S. embassy annex in Tripoli - U.S. source

by Reuters
Sunday, 31 August 2014 16:06 GMT

WASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Members of a Libyan rebel militia have entered an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but have not broken into the main compound where the United States evacuated all of its staff last month, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

A YouTube video showed the breach of the vacated diplomatic facility by an armed group from the northwestern city of Misrata, with fighters seen milling around a swimming pool and crowded onto a balcony of one of the buildings.

It was not immediately known how close the annex, apparently made up of diplomatic residences, is to the embassy itself. Libya has been rocked by the worst factional violence since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

The United States evacuated its embassy in Tripoli on July 26, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia. A rebel takeover of the compound would now deliver another symbolic blow to U.S. policy toward Libya, which Western governments fear is teetering toward becoming a failed state.

The U.S. government believes the main embassy compound is still intact and has not been taken over, the U.S. official in Washington told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. (Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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