USS Bataan Moves into Mediterranean


WASHINGTON  — The Navy warship USS Bataan has moved into the Mediterranean Sea and could be used, if needed, for any possible evacuation of American personnel from Libya.

U.S. defense officials say the Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, is not near Libya and isn't expected to be positioned off its coast. It more likely will remain in the region, and could move or respond quickly if called.

State Department officials said Tuesday there are no plans for an evacuation at this time.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.

A renegade Libyan general has launched a military offensive against Islamists and their allied militias in Libya, which has been plagued by lawlessness since the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

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