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China evacuates nationals from Libya
August 1, 2014, 5:51 pm

Chinese employees of a steel plant in Libya reached Tunisia on Friday [Xinhua]

Chinese employees of a steel plant in Libya reached Tunisia on Friday [Xinhua]

At least 730 Chinese nationals have been evacuated out of Libya due to the worsening security situation there as rival factions fight for control of the country.

The Chinese embassy’s commercial counselor Xiao Wensheng said that the evacuations had started on Thursday via Tunisia, Libya’s western neighbor, after Beijing had called on its citizens working there to leave “as soon as possible”.

At press time, over 300 Chinese nationals were still in Libya, Beijing said.

The Chinese evacuation of its diplomatic staff and nationals working at Chinese companies in Libya comes just a week after Washington closed its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli citing continuing lack of security.

US embassy staff were transported to Tunisia in a convoy under US military escort.

Fighting between rival factions vying for power in Tripoli has continued unabated since shelling in the neighborhoodssurrounding the airport killed at least seven people and led to its closure on July 14.

The UN withdrew its staff two weeks ago saying they could not operate while the airport remained closed.

Libya has seen a resurgence of violence in recent months, partially due to lack of security along volatile borders and a failure of the government to rein in militia who fought against the former Qaddafi government.

Distrust between some of the southern and eastern tribes in addition to decades-long rivalries have also exacerbated the situation.

Source: Agencies

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