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The United States evacuated its embassy in Libya on Saturday, driving its staff under heavy military guard across the border to Tunisia because of escalating clashes between rival militias in Tripoli, the U.S. State Department said. Security in the Libyan capital has deteriorated following two weeks of fighting between brigades of former rebel fighters who have exchanged rocket, cannon and artillery fire in southern Tripoli near the embassy compound. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions," a U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. F-16 fighters and Osprey aircraft had provided security during the five-hour drive to Tunisia and there were no incidents.
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday his country was not fighting a civil war in its east but was fighting "foreign mercenaries", hailing soldiers for forcing pro-Russian rebels out of several towns and cities. As fighting raged around the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Ukrainian leader awarded members of the newly formed National Guard with medals for service. "This is a real fight for the sovereignty of Ukraine, the territorial integrity of Ukraine, for the independence of Ukraine," said Poroshenko, wearing military camouflage. "It is not an internal conflict, it is Ukraine defending its territory from foreign mercenaries, from bandits and from terrorists," he told soldiers.