S Korea raises travel warning on Libya after attacks

The foreign ministry urged all citizens without urgent business to return home, or to cancel or delay plans to travel to the country. The warning came a day after some 500 Libyans stormed and looted a South Korean construction site west of the capital city of Tripoli, injuring three South Korean and about 15 Bangladeshi workers.

Looters yesterday also attacked two other sites of another South Korean builder, taking cash, computers and vehicles. No injuries were reported after those incidents in the town of Zawia near the capital and another site 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of Tripoli, the ministry said.

The latest wave of rioting began last Friday when hundreds of Libyans stormed a construction site at Darnah in the east of the country and set fire to buildings. Officials quoted by Yonhap news agency said anti-government protests appear to have fuelled the rioting, which is thought to have started amid discontent over the country's housing policy.
On January 14-15, hundreds of Libyans raided four South Korean-run construction sites, destroying heavy equipment and setting vehicles and other facilities on fire.

That riot was reportedly prompted by a senior Tripoli official's remarks that homes being built by foreign firms belong to the Libyan people and that they have the right to live in them.

The foreign ministry said the government would draw up plans to evacuate South Koreans from Libya in case of emergency, including special flights. There are currently about 1,400 South Koreans in the country, of whom some 1,000 work for companies.

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