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Libya: Huge fire as rockets hit fuel tanks near Tripoli

A rocket attack on fuel tanks near Tripoli airport in Libya has caused a huge "out of control" fire as clashes between rival militias intensified.

Smoke rises in the sky near Tripoli
Smoke rises in the sky after a rocket hit a fuel storage tank near Tripoli. Credit: Reuters

"It is out of control. The second tank has been hit and the firefighters have withdrawn from the site as the fighting has resumed in the area", the National Oil Company Mohamed Al-Harrai told Reuters.

Read: Embassy convoy attacked as Brits told to flee Libya

Libya asks for international help amid fighting

Libya has asked for international help after an oil depot caught fire amid clashes over the country's international airport in Tripoli.

The country's interim government said in a statement posted on its website that the fighting between rival militias caused the blaze, which could trigger a "humanitarian and environmental disaster."

Tripoli airport
Tripoli International Airport was heavily damaged during shelling last week. Credit: Reuters

It appealed for "international help" but did not specify what sort of help it wants.

Libyan TV stations called on residents to evacuate areas within a three-mile radius of the airport. Many Libyan families responded to the call and scrambled to leave their homes.

Read: Embassy convoy attacked as Brits told to flee Libya

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Dozens killed in Libya as western diplomats flee

At least 36 people were killed during the weekend's clashes between Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants in Benghazi, security officials said.

The government said more than 150 people have died, many of them civilian, in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in two weeks of fighting as clashes forced UK and other foreign diplomats to pull out of the country.

Militants and government forces clash in Benghazi.
Militants and government forces clash in Benghazi. Credit: Reuters

Read: Embassy convoy attacked as Brits told to flee Libya

Man dies after Venice Beach lightning strike

A 20-year-old man has died after lightning struck 14 people at Venice Beach in Los Angeles and Catalina Island.

Reuters
Lifeguards bring a victim of the strike to shore on Venice Beach. Credit: Reuters

Twelve other people were injured on the beach, with one still in a critical condition in hospital.

A 57-year-old man was also hit on a golf course on Catalina Island.

A witness earlier described seeing a "big flash of light and a boom" when the lightning struck.

Lightning strike 'felt like being punched in the head'

Witnesses have described the aftermath of a lightning strike in California that left 14 people injured, two critically.

Stuart Archer, who was struck while playing volleyball on the beach, said it felt as if someone punched him in the back of the head.

Reuters
Lifeguards searched the waters for anyone hit by the strike on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Credit: Reuters

"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head," he told KABC-TV.

"It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."

Jerome Williams said the lightning sounded like a "sonic boom", adding: "The majority of the folks that were on the (volleyball) court all felt a little tingly."

Read: California lightning hits 14 leaving two critical

California lightning hits 14 with two critically injured

At least 14 people have been hit by lightning during thunderstorms in southern California, leaving two people in a critical condition in hospital.

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PHOTO: Emergency personnel, seen from AIR7 HD, respond to Venice Beach after lightning strike http://t.co/juGqPiC8Gy http://t.co/DKSXDWh5Wu

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Thirteen people - including a 15-year-old were struck at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

A 57-year-old man was injured by the strikes on a golf course on Catalina Island.

He is reported to be in a stable condition.

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Eight people struck by lightning on California beach

Eight people have been struck by lightning on Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach following a series of thunderstorms in the region.

Reuters
A man is treated by a paramedics after a lightning strike on Venice Beach. Credit: Reuters

A ninth person - reported to be a 57-year-old man - was taken to hospital after he was hit on a on a golf course on southern California's Catalina Island, authorities said.

Venice Beach experienced the extreme weather at around 2pm on Sunday, with a 15-year-old among the casualties.

The lightning strikes also sparked small brush fires on Catalina Island.

France and Germany join UK with orders to leave Libya

France and Germany have joined Britain in calling on their citizens in Libya to leave the country amid the worst violence since the war that brought the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

Black plumes of smoke are seen in the vicinity of Camp Thunderbolt amid deadly clashes between militants, former rebel fighters and government forces in Benghazi.
Black plumes of smoke are seen amid deadly clashes between militants, former rebel fighters and government forces in Libya's second biggest city Benghazi. Credit: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

The United States evacuated its embassy in Libya yesterday with diplomats driven across the border into Tunisia under heavy military escort after rising trouble in Tripoli.

British Embassy convoy shot at in Libya

A British Embassy convoy came under fire during an attempted carjacking in Libya according to Michael Aron, the UK's ambassador to the country.

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.@mwattinleebi There was an attempted carjacking of a British Embassy convoy this morning. Shots were fired at our vehicles but all safe.

Embassy staff escaped unscathed from the attack which occurred this morning.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently updated its travel advice to state: "British nationals in Libya should leave now by commercial means."

Read: Britons urged to leave Libya because of fighting

Britons urged to leave Libya because of fighting

Britons living in Libya should leave the country immediately because of the "greater intensity of fighting," the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned.

The department warned that violent clashes between armed groups are possible across the country, including in the country's capital Tripoli, particularly at night.

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The FCO advise against all travel to #Libya; British nationals in Libya should leave now by commercial means http://t.co/XXvTMhnJV3

They said: "Fighting can break out in many places and at short notice. It can become serious quickly putting those in the area at risk. You should remain vigilant at all times."

They added: "Keep a low profile and try to limit travelling around as much as possible, particularly at night. There is a high threat from crime."

There are believed to be between 100 and 300 Britons in the north African country.

Tripoli International Airport was closed a fortnight ago following clashes between armed groups nearby, but any Britons remaining should use "commercial means" to leave, they said.

The British Embassy remains open but with reduced staff and a limited ability to provide consular assistance.

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