Ships to be sent to bring back Indians from Libya: Official

Chennai, Feb 24 (PTI) India would be sending ships toevacuate Indians from the strife-torn Libya either to Egyptor Malta for airlifting them from there to country, a topofficial said today.

Libyan government had closed down its airspace followingwhich the Indian authorities decided to transport those Indianwho were willing to leave the country. They would be takeneither to Alexandria in Egypt or Malta by ship from where AirIndia''s chartered aircrafts would pick them up, Ministry ofExternal Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary Navdeep Suri toldreporters.

There were about 18,000 Indians living in Libya, he said.

MEA was also coordinating closely with other Ministriesincluding Defence, Overseas Indian Affairs and Shipping inmaking evacuation arrangements, he said.

Round-the-clock situation rooms in MEA and Indian Missionin Tripoli were functioning smoothly and addressing queriesfrom families of Indian citizens in Libya, Suri said.

"Our Ambassador to Libya Manimekalai has been in constanttouch with the Libyan authorities to dock our ships at aconvenient location. We are also sending some translators whocan speak Arabic to coordinate with Libyan officials," hesaid.

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