Cardiff woman fears for her life in Libya

A Cardiff woman who's lived in Libya for nearly thirty years says she fears for her life at the hand of Islamist terrorists. She says the British Government is failing to do all it can to help her escape Benghazi and return to Wales. The woman, who married a Libyan but still has family in Cardiff, has told ITV News that she faces being beheaded or 'gunned down in the street' because she's a foreigner and 'stands out like a sore thumb.'

The woman, who's asked us to refer to her as "P", has lived in Benghazi for 27 years after marrying a Libyan man. But she's Welsh-born and raised, as are all her children. Her father still lives in Cardiff.

She says life in Benghazi has become desperate and dangerous since the rebels, which she says belong to Jihadi organisation, ISIS (or IS), started shelling and destroying government buildings over the last month. She told me that her whole family is terrified and afraid to leave their home.

Honestly I'm terrified but I'm trying to put a brave face on it. I have three grandchildren and I'm trying to shield them from the effects of the bombing. My little granddaughter asked me 'Nanny, what's that loud noise?' What can I tell her? She's only a little girl? What can I say to her? I don't want her to be raised like this.

– 'P'

"P" is critical of what she says the Foreign Office's 'appalling' response to her plight, saying that 'nobody seems to want to know what's going on.' She claims Foreign Office officials have told her to leave Benghazi for the Libyan capital Tripoli, a journey that she says is impossibly dangerous. A text offering seats on a flight from a nearby airport was sent two days after the flight left.

A text that 'P' says came from the Foreign Office two days after the evacuation flight offered

A Foreign Office spokesperson says that it remains in contact with British nationals who want to leave Libya and is continuing to look for opportunities to evacuate them.

We remain deeply concerned at the growing instability, and increased violence in Libya, especially in Tripoli and Benghazi. Over the past few weeks we have actively assisted with the evacuation of more than 250 British Nationals from Libya using British naval assets (HMS Enterprise) as well as identifying opportunities to travel with other carriers (e.g. most recently on a South Korean ship on 16-17 August). We have been advising against all travel to Benghazi for almost two years. On 26 July this year the UK government changed its travel advice to reflect the ongoing security situation and increase in violence. Since then we have been advising “against all travel to Libya” and for British Nationals in Libya to leave through commercially available means. While not easy, we understand that commercial flights are running and are being used to leave Libya. We continue to be in contact with British nationals and dependants who remain in Libya, and who have expressed a desire to leave. Our officials continue to monitor options for British nationals to leave by commercial or by other means. When we become aware of these we will inform British nationals seeking to leave as soon as possible

– Foreign Office spokesperson