The U.S. State Department has issued a new travel warning for Libya following clashes in Benghazi and other eastern cities, as well as a May 18 attack on the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli.
"State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict," the State Department said. "As a result, the potential for political violence continues, centered around specific events, including elections for a new General National Congress and appointment of a new government, both anticipated for as early as June."
The State Department said that sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country, and that hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire.
The State Department recommends that all U.S. citizens currently in Libya leave immediately, and that U.S. citizens intending to remain in Libya despite the warning should "use caution and limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, and maintain security awareness at all times."
The State Department has limited staffing at the Embassy in Tripoli and will only be able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Libya.
The State Department's travel warning can be found here.