US warns of crime, political violence in Libya

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States has resumed consular services at its embassy in Libya but continues to warn against all but essential travel to the country.

The embassy reopened last September, offering emergency services for U.S. citizens after it was closed for several months during the fighting that ousted longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Full services resumed Monday but the State Department says violent crime, especially carjacking and robbery, has become a serious problem.

The department also said political violence in the form of assassinations and vehicle bombs has increased in Benghazi and Tripoli.

After last year’s civil war, Libya still lacks a strong central government and a properly functioning police or military. The interior minister resigned Sunday, after police failed to prevent an attack on a Sufi shrine, underscoring the security problems.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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