Europe urges citizens to leave Libya's Benghazi
A British embassy spokeswoman in Tripoli said the number of Britons in Benghazi was small, without specifying further.
US and European sources downplayed the risk to Americans, saying the threats were explicitly directed against European nationals.
Libyan deputy Interior Minister Omar al-Khadrawi said there were no more than 20 British nationals in Benghazi and most worked at international schools.
The principal of the British School Benghazi said he was told to close the school after a personal call from the British ambassador in Tripoli.
"He called each of the British nationals and said to get out now," Randy Robinson, 53, told Reuters.
"He sounded urgent. He just said there are threats of attacks on foreign institutions run by foreigners and that schools and hospitals are on the list."
Robinson, a Canadian, said the ambassador did not say who the threats were from because "that would jeopardise their source". The school has six British nationals, four of whom, he said, were trying to leave Libya.
"I am going to stay for a while. We will try to get the school going with the staff we have left, but it is a day-by-day situation," he said.
Last week Italy suspended activity at its Benghazi consulate and withdrew staff after a gun attack on its consul.
"The situation in Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) is not just worrying, it is incredibly worrying," a Western diplomat said. "But in light of the events recently, this could be a precautionary measure."
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