State orders staff to leave Libya

Monday - 2/21/2011, 2:59pm EST

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The State Department is ordering all non-emergency staff to leave Libya.

The department said it is gravely concerned about reports that hundreds of people have been killed or injured during anti-government protests in Libya.

"Violent clashes between protesters and security forces continue throughout Libya, including in Tripoli. Spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days," according to a State travel warning issued Feb. 21.

The warning said there is no indication that Westerners are being threatened or targeted. However, State "strongly urges" Americans to avoid demonstrations - "as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment, or worse."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this story.