Governments including those of the U.S., Sweden, UK, Taiwan and India have issued travel advisories against all non-essential travel to conflict-ridden Libya, where a large number of casualties have been reported in the wake of political unrest.

Urging citizens to avoid travel to eastern Libya, which is witnessing continuing clashes, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday that the violence in the region is expected to continue through several days.

The State Department pointed out that though foreign travelers do not seem to be the target of the protesters, U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance towards their security.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also issued a travel advisory for the North African country, where demonstrations have spread to many cities including Misurata, Zawiya and the Libyan capital city of Tripoli.

FCO advised tourists already in Libya or planning to visit the country to check with tour operators or Libyan authorities for the update, as access to desert areas and remote towns of Libya may be restricted at short notice.

Violence broke out in Libya on February 15 in the form of protests against the dictatorship of Moammar Gaddafi; according to Human Rights Watch, anti-government protests have claimed the lives of at least 173 people since then. Media reports have it that about 200 people have been killed and over 800 injured.