London: Britain has decided to shut down its embassy in Libyan capital Tripoli, temporarily discontinuing diplomatic activities in the troubled nation, the foreign ministry said. The decision has come in the wake of protests calling for ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

The embassy's employees were on board the last of several chartered planes, which flew 53 British citizens and 47 other foreigners to London.

In the meantime, Turkey would represent Britain's interests in Libya. Only one British consul has stayed behind and is working closely with the Turkish embassy in Tripoli, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, British military planes evacuated 150 Britons to safety from a desert area south of the city of Benghazi, Defence Minister Liam Fox confirmed. The Hercules aircrafts landed in Malta.

A warship from the British Navy had already brought British nationals from the north African country to Malta earlier Saturday. It then headed back towards Libya to pick up any remaining British citizens.

Countries around the world have been evacuating their citizens from Libya, which has seen almost two weeks of protests calling for leader Muammar Gaddafi's ouster, some of which have reportedly been met with a bloody crackdown by security forces.

(Agency)