Philippines orders 13,000 nationals to leave Libya as violence worsens

 A picture taken on July 16, 2014, shows the remains of a burnt airplane at the Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital.  The Philippines on Sunday, July 20, 2014, ordered its estimated 13,000 nationals in Libya to flee tha
 A picture taken on July 16, 2014, shows the remains of a burnt airplane at the Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital.  The Philippines on Sunday, July 20, 2014, ordered its estimated 13,000 nationals in Libya to flee that country due to the worsening unrest there. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines on Sunday ordered its estimated 13,000 nationals in Libya to flee that country due to the worsening unrest there.

The Department of Foreign Affairs ordered the mandatory evacuation of Filipinos in Libya "in response to the extremely unstable political and security situation", a statement said.

The order also bars Filipinos from travelling to Libya.

Filipinos were told to contact the embassy in Tripoli for instructions on "mass evacuation", the statement said without giving details.

Unrest has escalated in recent days with rival militia groups fighting around Tripoli airport, which has been shut down as fears grow of all-out civil war.

About 10 million Filipinos live and work abroad, many of them in Middle East, having left their homeland in search of better-paying jobs. However this has often placed them in delicate situations when violence breaks out in these countries.

On Saturday, the foreign department ordered the 100 Filipinos living in Gaza to leave the besieged Palestinian territory as Israel presses its offensive.