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Rebels Reportedly Seize Part Of U.S. Embassy Compound In Tripoli

Posted: August 31, 2014

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A YouTube video shows a large group of men occupying a building that the U.S. ambassador to Libya says appears to be the embassy's residential annex.

Islamic militiamen in the Libyan capital have reportedly seized part of the U.S. embassy compound, which was evacuated more than a month ago amid concerns over the safety of diplomatic staff.

The Associated Press says one of its journalists "walked through the compound Sunday after the Dawn of Libya, an umbrella group for Islamist militias, invited onlookers inside. Windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched.

"A commander for the Dawn of Libya group said his forces had entered and been in control of the compound since last week," the AP says.

A video posted online shows men crowded under a veranda and diving from a balcony into a pool below. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones, who uses the Twitter handle Safira Deborah, tweeted that the video appeared to have been shot at the embassy's residential annex. (Update at 9:15 a.m. ET on Sept. 1: A message on the YouTube video states that the footage is unavailable "due to a copyright claim by video libya."

On July 26, U.S. diplomats left the compound and went to neighboring Tunisia under a U.S. military escort. The State Department said embassy operations would be suspended until the security situation improved.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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