EMERCOM jets preparing to evacuate Russians from Libya

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Moscow, Feb 22 (Itar-Tass) Russia''s Ministry forEmergency Situations and Civil Defense or EMERCOM is preparingits jets for evacuation of Russian citizens from theviolence-stricken Libya, an official said.

An Ilyushin-62, a Yakovlev-42, and two Ilyushin-76 cargocarriers may take off and head for Tripoli as early asTuesday, Irina Andrianova, the chief of EMERCOM press servicesaid on Monday.

"Two more jets, an Ilyushin-76 and a Yakovlev-42, are onthe standby," Andrianova said.

"We hope four jets will be able to leave for Libya in themorning of Tuesday, February 22," she said. "The Ilyushin-62will be the first one to take off. The early data we haveindicates there are about 500 Russian citizens to beevacuated."

President Dmitry Medvedev''s press secretary NatalyaTimakova said earlier the President had issued an instructionto the Emergency Situations and Civil Defense Minister SergeiShoigu and the president of the Russian state railwaycorporation RZD, Vladimir Yakunin, to draft plans for apossible evacuation of the Russian nationals stranded in theLibyan Arab Jamahiriya.

"The President gave an instruction to consider all thedetails for a possible evacuation of Russians from Libya,"Timakova said.

Anti-government riots spread to the capital Tripoli onSunday. The information coming from the country is highlycontroversial but some Arabic news media suggest hundreds ofpeople have already died in clashes between the supporters andopponents of the Libyan leader, Muamar Gaddafi.

Thousands more people have reportedly been wounded.

Official Libyan sources speak of 84 people killed.

(Itar-Tass)

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