Adventure tour operator Explore has scrapped its holidays to Libya until the end of March after violent anti-government protests escalated over the weekend.

The Foreign Office warned against all but essential travel to Libya after more than 200 people were killed in a crackdown on demonstrators in the country’s second city Benghazi.

Today, protestors have reportedly set the central government building and police station in Tripoli on fire.

Sales director Carl Burrows said all Explore customers out in Libya had safely returned to the UK on Sunday.

He said: “We have cancelled all forward trips until the end of March and are in the process of letting people know today. We have learned from what happened in Egypt and are playing it very cautiously.

“In the last 48 hours things have become far more violent. The situation is very worrying.”

The operator has about eight bookings for the coming weeks and customers will have the opportunity to take a refund or rebook to an alternative destination.

More information is available on the Explore website.