South Asia

India preparing for 'mammoth' Libya evacuation

Libya-Egypt border
Image caption Many foreigners are now trying to get out of Libya

The Indian government has said that it is preparing for a "mammoth operation" involving planes and ships to evacuate its nationals from Libya.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said Delhi was in the process of obtaining permission from Libya for its aircraft to land in the country.

The Bangladeshi government has also restated its plans to repatriate 50,000 mostly manual labourers in Libya.

The Pakistani embassy in Libya says that 18,000 Pakistanis there are safe.

"We have not received any report regarding untoward incidents against Pakistanis. We have no consulate or a commercial section in [the eastern city of] Benghazi but we are in contact with Pakistani people living there and according to them they are safe," Pakistan's acting ambassador to Libya, Ali Javed, told the BBC.

"So far we have not received any reports about injuries or deaths of Pakistanis," he said.

Turmoil

The Nepalese embassy in Libya meanwhile says that it is continuing with efforts to evacuate immediately about 600 Nepali migrant workers stranded in the city of Darnah.

It says that plans have been initiated to bring the workers 800km (497 miles) from Darnah to Cairo after the South Korean construction company which employs them said that it was unable to arrange for their evacuation because of the turmoil in Libya.

"We will rescue the workers by Thursday," First Secretary Tirtha Aryal said in Kathmandu. "We have already initiated a process to obtain legal permission from the Egyptian authorities to rescue our citizens."

There are about 2,000 Nepali labourers in Libya.

Image caption Most Bangladeshis in Libya work in construction

Of some 18,000 Indians in Libya, about 3,000 are reported to be in Benghazi working for car companies and hospitals.

Ms Rao said an Indian passenger ship was on standby in the Red Sea which could carry 1,000 people to safety.

The Indian foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned the violence, saying that it gave cause for "serious concern".

"The government [of India] deplores the use of force which is totally unacceptable and must not be resorted to," it said.

The Bangladeshi government says it will do "everything it can, whatever it takes, to ensure the safety and security of our workers, but the situation is very, very volatile".

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