Niger said Tuesday its embassy in Libya was surrounded by heavily armed militias, possibly in response to unfounded rumours that Nigerien forces had entered the Libyan embassy in Niamey.

The militias encircled the mission in the capital Tripoli in the early hours of Tuesday, resulting in “diplomatic personnel, including the ambassador, being confined,” the secretary general of Niger’s foreign ministry, Abani Sani Ibrahim, told reporters.

He said the gunmen, who drove up in “military vehicles” fitted with heavy machineguns, did not attack the embassy, but he qualified the situation as “extremely serious”. […]