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Philippines sending ship for workers trapped in Libya

Published on Aug 5, 2014 8:23 PM
 
Maribel Espares (2nd from left), widow of the Filipino worker beheaded by armed men in Libya last month, joins a protest at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila on August 5, 2014, to call for the speedy repatriaton of the estimated 11,000 Filipinos still in Libya. The Philippines said Tuesday it would send a ship to pick up at least 700 of its nationals trapped in strife-torn Libya as it presses on with efforts to rescue thousands of workers. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines said Tuesday it would send a ship to pick up at least 700 of its nationals trapped in strife-torn Libya as it presses on with efforts to rescue thousands of workers.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said it would pick up Filipinos from Misrata and Benghazi and hopefully Sirte, adding that others could still flee across the land border to Tunisia.

"We have 400 from Misrata, we have 300 from Benghazi and we have something like a couple of hundred from Sirte but the boat cannot go into Sirte because it's a shallow harbour so we need a small vessel to bring the people back out to the boat," he said.

He said the ship, chartered for about US$1.8 million (S$2.2 million) which can carry 1,500 passengers, would reach Libya at the end of the week "We are counting on getting as many people as possible," so they can be brought to safety in Malta, he said.

 
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