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Philippine workers return home from Libya after govt order

Published on Aug 2, 2014 10:13 PM
Filipino workers arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Aug 2, 2014, after leaving strife-torn Libya at government expense. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - A small group of Philippine workers flew home from strife-torn Libya on Saturday, grateful to have escaped the conflict but anxious about bleak job prospects in their own country.

The 21 Filipinos, red-eyed and weary from lack of sleep and a long journey, arrived at Manila airport using tickets paid for by the Philippine government, which has ordered a mandatory evacuation of its 13,000 nationals from the North African nation.

"It was difficult. There were explosions night and day," oil pipeline welder Michael Antalan, 37, told AFP.

Their Libyan company stopped work on July 20 and allowed them to seek refuge in the embassy in Tripoli, about two hours' drive away.

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