2 warships to be sent tomorow to Libya to bring back Indians

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) India will tomorrow despatchtwo naval warships including its largest amphibious vessel INSJalashwa to evacuate its citizens stranded in trouble-tornLibya.

"We are sending INS Jalashwa along with INS Mysorefrom Mumbai to Libya to bring back Indians stuck there," Navyofficials said here.

The two ships will take at least eight to ten days toreach Alexandria in Egypt and from there launch to one of theports in Libya which has not yet been decided, they added.

The Defence Ministry had received a request from theExternal Affairs Ministry to see if it could help in bringingback Indian citizens from there.

The Jalshwa is the largest available ship with theIndian Navy, which can be used for carrying out humanitarianefforts of this kind.

The over 27,000 tonnes ship can carry more than 1000passengers and has adeauate medical facilities.

The warship is deployed in Vishakapattanam under theEastern naval Command but was deployed in Mumbai onthe western seaboard for taking part in the TROPEX exercises.

The MEA has already hired a ship Scotia Prince whichcan ferry 1,200 passengers. The ship is already in Egypt andreadying for sail to Benghazi which will be the initial focusof the evacuation operations," the MEA said.

There are about 18,000 Indians in that country withmajority of them living in Tripoli which is one of theworst-affected cities due to the protests.

Indian companies, many of which are based in Libya fordecades, have also offered to work with the Indian Embassy inTripoli in facilitating evacuation.

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