Military aircraft bring back 287 Chinese from Libya

09:54, March 05, 2011      

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A Chinese national Wang Kerong shouts "I am back, motherland!" after arriving in Beijing by a Chinese air force transporter in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2011. Four Il-76 MD transport aircrafts, carrying 287 Chinese nationals evacuated from Libya, arrived in Beijing Friday. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

Four Chinese air force's Il-76 transport aircraft landed in Beijing Friday, bringing back 287 evacuees from Libya.

The majority of Chinese nationals on board were employees of Chinese companies with businesses in Libya, according to sources with the air force.

The first aircraft, with 80 people on board, arrived at Beijing Nanyuan Airport in the city's south at 8:35 a.m. Friday, after the 12-hour flight from Khartoum, capital of Sudan.

The fourth aircraft returned to Beijing two hours later.

From Feb. 28 to March 2, the four aircraft have evacuated a total of 1,655 Chinese out of Libya to Sudan, for an interim period.

"This urgent mission is a test for Chinese air force," said Zheng Yuanlin, a senior officer of the air force.

The flight course between China and Libya, about 9,500 km across five nations, has set a record for Chinese air force's large transport planes, sources said.

Various measures were taken to ensure safety during evacuation flights, and medical experts were on board of each flight to provide emergency medical services to passengers and the crew.

A total of 35,860 Chinese nationals had been evacuated from Libya as of late Wednesday evening Beijing time, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: Xinhua

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