Algeria oil company Sonatrach pulling out workers from Libya over kidnap fears, says official

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ALGIERS, Algeria – An official close to Algeria’s state oil giant Sonatrach says authorities have decided to evacuate the company’s employees from Libya due to the deteriorating security situation.

The decision follows the evacuation of Algerian diplomats from Libya Friday in response to what the Foreign Ministry said was a “clear and present” threat.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had yet to be made, said Tuesday it was feared that with Algerian diplomats gone, terrorists would target oil workers.

Sonatrach is working oil fields in the Ghadames basin in southern Libya, near the Algerian border.

A renegade general has taken up arms against the Islamists dominating Libya’s fractured government sparking fighting in major cities.

Libya is also home to al-Qaida-linked groups battling the Algerian government.

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