US Marines land in Sicily

2014-05-14 22:14
A US marine stands before the American flag. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images/AFP)

A US marine stands before the American flag. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images/AFP)

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Washington - The Pentagon said on Wednesday it has temporarily moved nearly 200 Marines to Sicily from their base in Spain because of concerns about unrest in North Africa, bolstering the US ability to respond to any crisis.

It follows a similar step in October, when about 200 Marines also focused on embassy security were temporarily moved to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily after US special operations forces captured a senior al-Qaeda figure in Libya.

"We're doing this as a contingency because we believe that the security situation in North Africa is deteriorating to a point where there could be threats," said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesperson.

Warren declined to specify the nature of the threat. However, a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the concerns centred on Libya.

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