Indonesia deploys jumbo jet plane to evacuate citizens from Egypt

18:44, February 01, 2011      

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Indonesian government is sending a Boeing 747-400 jet plane with a capacity of 450 people for a single flight to evacuate thousands of its citizens who stranded amid the ongoing chaos in Cairo, Egypt.

The plane, operated by national flag carrier airline Garuda Indonesia, has departed on Tuesday morning from Jakarta's international airport Soekarno Hatta, carrying a task particularly assigned to carry out the evacuation process. The first evacuation flight was expected to arrive back to Jakarta on Wednesday, bringing back the first batch of Indonesian evacuees to the country.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa who witnessed the departure of the evacuation flight said that Indonesia was given seven hours by Cairo administrator to evacuate its citizens from the restless city following massive demonstrations and chaos related to the people's demands on resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"We were given seven hours time to evacuate Indonesians living in the restless city from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time. The allocated time begins from picking up Indonesians from their houses to transporting them to the airport," the minister said on Tuesday in the airport, referring to the time allocation for the first batch of Indonesians evacuation process.

There were some 6,100 Indonesian citizens living in Egypt, waiting to be evacuated at the moment. Most of them came from Indonesia's province of East Java who studied in Islamic Institutions in that country.

Marty said that the government would prioritize evacuating women and children in the first batch of evacuation, adding that Indonesian officials at its embassy in Cairo are now working hard to qualify people in the first batch of evacuation.

"Our team in Cairo is facing transportation problem in carrying out its tasks due to the chaos situation in the city. They have to pick each of the qualified people to get evacuated amid the chaos condition. They are now working hard to solve this problem," Marty said.

The situation in Cairo has turned to chaos following clashes between protesters and authorities in the city.

Source: Xinhua
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