China sends military transporters to bring home Libya evacuees

08:39, March 01, 2011      

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Chinese nationals arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in east China's Shanghai, Feb. 28, 2011. A China Eastern plane, carrying 278 Chinese nationals evacuated from Libya, arrived in Shanghai Monday. (Xinhua/Yang Xiajie)

China has sent four military transporters to bring home its nationals from Libya, the information office of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense confirmed on Monday.

The Il-76 transport aircraft were dispatched to the conflict-ridden north African country Monday with the approval of China's Central Military Commission, an office official said.

Meanwhile, a Chinese navy frigate of the "Xuzhou" fleet, which had been conducting an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, traversed the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea Sunday.

The frigate is expected to arrive in waters off Libya on Wednesday to provide support and protection for ships evacuating Chinese nationals.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, almost 29,000 Chinese have been evacuated from riot-torn Libya in China's largest-ever evacuation,

As of 10 a.m. Monday, about 2,500 Chinese had been flown back to China, while 23,000 had been temporarily accommodated in third countries, and 3,400 were en route to third countries, the ministry said in a statement.

In the past few days, thousands of Chinese in Libya, mostly employees of Chinese companies with businesses in Libya, had fled to neighboring countries, including Greece, Egypt and Tunisia, by sea, air and road, according to the Foreign Ministry.

About 10,000 Chinese evacuees were on the Greek island of Crete, 1,600 in Malta, 11,000 on the Tunisian island of Djerba, and 400 in Khartoum, Sudan, and in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

Two foreign ocean liners chartered by the Chinese government were carrying about 2,800 evacuees to Malta and a Chinese vessel was heading to Crete with about 600 Chinese aboard, it said.

The Chinese embassy in Libya and working groups from Beijing were arranging for Chinese nationals to leave Libya by road for Tunisia.

Foreign aircraft chartered by the Chinese government were flying evacuees from Libya to Khartoum or Dubai, it said, without giving the details.

Chinese airlines had also been operating chartered flights to bring home Chinese nationals from Tunisia, Malta and Greece, said the statement.

Source: Xinhua

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