The United States military said on Sunday it had pulled some of its forces out of Libya. The temporary withdrawal came amid an upsurge in fighting in the oil-rich country.

“Due to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of US forces supporting US Africa Command temporarily relocated from the country in response to security conditions on the ground,” said a statement from the command, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

“The security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable,” said US Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser.

The American troop withdrawal was followed by an announcement by Libya’s Tripoli-based interim government that it had launched a “counter offensive” to defend the capital, reported France’s Agence France-Presse news agency.

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