Libya permits India flights to evacuate nationals (Lead, superseding previous story)By IANS
Friday, February 25, 2011
NEW DELHI - India has got clearance to bring back about 18,000 nationals from Libya, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here Friday. Air India will operate two flights per day over the next week.
India is also moving three ships to Benghazi, the hub of revolt against Libya’s decades-old ruler Muammar Gadaffi. From Benghazi, the ships will transport Indians to Alexandria in Egypt.
The ship, Scotia Prince, is expected to reach Benghazi by Sunday and bring back at least 1,200 people to Alexandria by March 1. They would be flown home from Alexandria thereafter by special Air India flights, which are being arranged.
There are about 18,000 Indians in Libya, which has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests seeking the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s ruler for nearly four decades.
In Tripoli, the focus will be on air evacuation, the external affairs ministry said, adding that aircraft are on standby for this purpose.