Fearing disease and violence, Israel advises nationals to leave Nepal

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel is advising its nationals to leave earthquake-hit Nepal, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, fearing disease and violence after desperate Nepalis clashed with riot police over supplies and aid.

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told AFP the warning came after helicopters sent to evacuate Israeli citizens were mobbed and attacked by Nepalis trying to get on board.

"We're advising our citizens to leave Nepal, for both health and security reasons," he said, but added the warning was being diffused by Israeli media, rather than through official channels.

On Tuesday, an attempt to evacuate Israelis from the Langtang region north of Kathmandu resulted in the death of a Nepalese man who tried to board a helicopter before his head was struck by a rotor blade.

Local media reported that Israelis travelling in Nepal had been attacked with sticks and stones before the evacuation attempt took place.

Nepalis clashed with riot police and seized supplies of bottled water in the capital Wednesday as anger boiled over among survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people.

Supplies are running thin and aftershocks have strained nerves in the ruined city, home to some 2.5 million people before it was shattered by Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake.

Israel has sent seven aeroplanes to bring back its citizens, carrying supplies to help in the aid effort, Nahshon said.