Workers flee Libya as trouble intensifies

Thousands of construction and oil workers evacuated as clashes endure

India evacuated 300 workers from Libya over the weekend. Thousands have fled the country as civil unrest intensifies. Photos: Getty.
India evacuated 300 workers from Libya over the weekend. Thousands have fled the country as civil unrest intensifies. Photos: Getty.

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Thousands of workers have fled the Libya, and many more are fighting to leave the country as political unrest continues to intensify.

Foreign nationals - many of them employed in the construction and oil industries - continue to be evacuated from the country by air, sea and land.

Around 16,000 people have fled across the border to Tunisia, while hundreds of others have been evacuated by special charter flights as the capital of Tripoli braces for a fresh round of clashes between anti-government protestors and security forces.

New agency AP reported that two ships have braced churning seas to evacuate 4,500 Chinese workers to Crete. China has more than 30,000 people in Libya working on construction and oil projects. In one of the largest evacuations of its people from foreign soil in recent years, China expects to transport 15,000 people to Crete over the next few days.

State-run airline Air India delivered 300 evacuees from Libya on Saturday. There are an estimated 18,000 Indians in Libya, 3,000 of whom are believed to be in the troubled eastern city of Benghazi working for construction firms, hospitals and car companies.

On Saturday, two British military transport aircraft pick up about 150 foreign nationals in the desert south of Benghazi and fly them to the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Britain also announced it had temporarily closed its embassy in Tripoli and pulled out its staff on the last UK government-chartered aircraft because of the deteriorating security situation.

Some 10,000 people remain outside Tripoli airport's terminal building and several thousand more are inside.
 

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