India sends two aircraft to Libya to bring back its nationals

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) India has begun the process ofevacuating its nationals stranded in troubled Libya by sendingtwo aircraft with total capacity of 640 passengers to Tripolibesides despatching four ships.

The specially chartered Air India Boeing 747 with acapacity of 360 passengers, and an Airbus 330 with a capacityof 280, are en route to Tripoli and were to land shortly,External Affairs Ministry said in a statement here.

The aircraft will return to New Delhi after picking uppassengers at Tripoli, it said.

Besides, two Naval ships -- INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore-- set sail from Mumbai this morning for Libya. The sailingtime is about twelve days to Libya.

Another passenger ship with a capacity of 1600, presentlyin the Mediterranean, is being chartered today and will bepressed into service for assisting the departure of ournationals out of Libya, the statement said.

Scotia Prince, another chartered ship, is scheduled todepart for Benghazi (Libya) from Port Said (Egypt) today at2000 hrs and is likely to arrive at its destination by theafternoon of February 28. The ship has a capacity of 1200passengers.

The Ministry said it has positioned additional personnelat the Indian Embassy in Tripoli to help in the process.

There are around 18,000 Indians in Libya and thegovernment is concerned about their well-being in view of thedeteriorating situation in the country following a popularuprising.

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