The State Department has issued a new travel warning for Libya, saying U.S. citizens should leave the north African country immediately because of the "unpredictable and unstable" security situation and threats of attacks against Americans.
"[Various] groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya," the State Department said in a statement. "Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya."
"The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution," the department said.
"Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation," it said.
The Associated Press, quoted unnamed officials, says that the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan has been positioned off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea to assist in a possible evacuation of U.S. personnel.
"It more likely will remain in the region, and could move or respond quickly if called.
"State Department officials said Tuesday there are no plans for an evacuation at this time."