Amid continued violence in Libya, a special Air India plane has brought home 200 Indian nationals from the Tunisian island of Djerba on August 7. This follows the return of 43 Indian nurses who were brought back home on August 5.
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, an additional 216 Indian workers are expected to return to India on August 08, taking the number of Indian’s who have managed to flee Libya to 1500.
“Another flight going to Djerba tomorrow! Will bring back 216 more Indians from Libya,” tweeted Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry.
There are still more than 3,000 Indians in Libya who have registered themselves with the Indian mission in Tripoli and want to leave the country.
The unabated violence in Libya has forced scores of people, including Indians, to flee the war-torn nation. India’s government had advised all its nationals to leave Libya using all available means and not to travel to that country on July 28.
“In view of the current security situation in Libya, all Indian nationals are advised to move to safer places and avoid all conflict zones. They are further advised to use all available means for exiting Libya. All travel from India to Libya should be postponed till the situation improves,” the advisory said.
India’s Ambassador to Tunisia Nagma Mallick was there to see off the 200 Indian nationals evacuated from Libya.
Fighting between rival militias in Tripoli over the past three weeks and bloody clashes between Islamists and the army in Benghazi have compelled several countries to evacuate their nationals and diplomatic staff.
On August 6, Libya’s newly elected parliament threatened to act against militias who don’t abide by the UN supervised immediate cease-fire.
The Indian government has been relentless in its efforts to ensure that all its citizens in Libya return home safe. “We have set up 62 coordinators who are regularly coordinating with these Indian nationals. These nationals are spread in different areas but majority of them are near Tripoli,” said Syed Akbaruddin.
In 2011, India conducted Operation Safe Homecoming, whereby thousands of Indian nationals were evacuated from Libya by special Air India flights and the help from Indian Navy.
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