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No 10 won't reveal details of threat to Brits in Benghazi

by - Former Political Correspondent

The Prime Minister's spokesman reiterated the "specific imminent threat" to Westerners in Benghazi in Libya, which is why they have been urged to leave.

Although journalists were told there have been regional threats, we were told the Government does not talk about the details behind threats or the information received.

The spokesman would not confirm whether this threat was linked to the situation in Mali or Algeria.

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Foreign Office: 'Terrorism risk in ongoing in the region'

Foreign Office minister David Lidington, told the BBC that the risk of terrorism in the region has been ongoing for some time but that the Foreign Office would not issue its current advice to leave if there were not serious reason to do so.

He said:

The terrorism risk has been there for some time, before Mali and before the Algeria crisis of last week.

I cannot comment further on operational matters but the safety of Britons is our primary concern at the Foreign Office.

We only issue the kind of advice we have, to leave Benghazi, if we have information on a credible and imminent threat.

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'Specific and imminent threat' to westerners in Benghazi

The Foreign Office has been advising against travel to most of Libya since last September, but has now stepped up its warning.

We are now aware of a specific and imminent threat to westerners in Benghazi, and urge any British nationals who remain there against our advice to leave immediately.

We have updated our travel advice to reflect this. The British Embassy in Tripoli has been in contact with British nationals for whom we have contact details to alert them to the advice.

Clinton describes 'highly personal' work

As she began her testimony, her voice cracked at times as she said her work is sometimes highly personal, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

At another point, she defended UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who was vilified for widely debunked claims five days after the attack that protests precipitated the raid rather than terrorism. She challenged the Republican focus on Rice's comments, which were based on intelligence talking points.

"What difference does it make?" a clearly exasperated Clinton told Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, after he pressed her. She insisted that "people were trying in real time to get to the best information," and that her focus was on looking ahead on how to improve security.

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