Greece sends ships to Libya evacuate embassy, foreign nationals

by Reuters
Thursday, 31 July 2014 09:45 GMT

ATHENS, July 31 (Reuters) - Greece is sending a frigate and two other vessels to Libya to evacuate workers at its embassy in Tripoli as well as a few hundred Chinese and European nationals, government officials said on Thursday.

The Greek frigate Salamis, which can carry up to 100 evacuees, is expected to arrive in Libya on Thursday evening, a defence ministry official said. A second naval vessel, Prometheus, and a passenger ferry are expected to help evacuate workers from countries including Britain and Cyprus, officials said.

The past two weeks of fighting between rival militias in Libya have been the worst since the civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, prompting Western governments to follow the United States and the United Nations in pulling their diplomats out of the North African country.

France closed its embassy on Wednesday and evacuated 30 French nationals from Tripoli, a few days after the U.S. embassy evacuated its staff across the Tunisian border under heavy military escort.

Greek passenger ships evacuated more than 10,000 foreigners, mainly Chinese workers, from Libya when fighting flared in 2011. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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