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Pentagon Puts Forces on Alert in Europe Amid Libya Unrest

The U.S. has put its military forces in Europe on alert in case they’re required to respond to a security crisis stemming from political unrest in Libya, according to a U.S. defense official.

Several teams of military personnel assigned to the U.S. Africa Command and based in Stuttgart, Germany, have been put on notice and can reach parts of Libya quickly because they’re equipped with their own air transport, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the plans.

The U.S. has no imminent plans to deploy the forces to Libya, the defense official said.

The quick reaction forces were created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Libyan militias that have blockaded the country’s foreign ministry for almost two weeks fled today after thousands of pro-government protesters converged on the building. U.S. and British embassies in the Libyan capital Tripoli withdrew some staff and issued travel warnings.

People blockading government ministries were protesting a May 5 law that requires the dismissal from office of senior officials who served in the government of deceased dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

The Associated Press reported the Pentagon putting its forces in Europe on alert.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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