Indian CRPF contingent evacuated as situation worsens in Libya: Sushma Swaraj
India evacuated its entire contingent of peacekeeping forces comprising 15 CRPF personnel from Tripoli after the situation there “suddenly worsened”, Union minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday.
“The situation in Libya has suddenly worsened. There is fighting in Tripoli. Indian Embassy in Tunisia @IndiainTunisia has evacuated the entire contingent of 15 CRPF personnel yesterday itself. I appreciate the excellent work by the Indian Embassy in Tunisia. #Libya,” Swaraj tweeted early on Sunday.
The Indian Ambassador to Tunisia has the concurrent charge of Libya. The CRPF contingent is deployed as the peacekeeping force in Tripoli, Swaraj outlined.
The conflict shaking Libya escalated on Sunday after the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise offensive against the capital Tripoli last week, a move that could potentially drag the country back into civil war. Libya has been gripped by unrest since the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Fighting was underway Sunday at the international airport, some 24 kilometers (15 miles) from central Tripoli, after Hifter claimed to have seized the area.
The United Nations called for a two-hour truce to allow evacuations of civilians and the wounded, while the unity government said the fighting had so far killed 21 people. The US, too, has temporarily withdrawn some of its forces from Libya due to “security conditions on the ground”.