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Australia Joins European Nations In Urging Citizens To Leave Benghazi

People look at the wreckage of a police car after an attack in Benghazi on January 14. At least one police officer was wounded when attackers threw a hand grenade at the patrol car in a series of assaults on security officials.
Australia has called on its citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi immediately, citing "a specific, imminent threat to Westerners" connected to French military action in Mali.

Australia's appeal comes one day after Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands also warned citizens to leave Benghazi.

Several countries have for months advised against travel to Benghazi, especially after the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate there that left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.

Concerns about possibile attacks on foreigners in North Africa increased after France's intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali and last week's attack by militants on an Algerian gas facility that left at least 37 foreign workers dead.

Based on the British warning, Air Malta canceled its flight to Benghazi on January 24.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and dpa