Pentagon puts 4 troops on ground in Libya

September 12, 2011 - 11:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says it has four troops in Libya — only the second time since the U.S. became involved there that it has acknowledged having any military personnel on the ground.

The first time was in March when Marines rescued an Air Force pilot who had ejected over eastern Libya.

This time it is four military personnel who entered Libya over the weekend as members of a State Department team in Tripoli assessing how to reopen the U.S. Embassy, which was vandalized during the conflict.

Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday the four include two who specialize in disposing of explosives. He says the four are not there in any offensive or defensive military capacity, but strictly to help the State Department.