All 10,000 Vietnam workers leave Libya

TN News

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All 10,000 Vietnamese workers have escaped from the political turmoil in Libya, official media reported Thursday (March 10).

The last of 10 special flights by flag ship carrier Vietnam Airlines touched down in Hanoi on Wednesday with more than 200 workers. The airliners were operating from Tunisia and Egypt, Libya's neighbors.

Labor minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was quoted as saying that 8,728 workers were already home, while more than 1,000 were en route by sea and more than 350 others were travelling by other means.

The first laborer to reach Vietnam late last month told local media they heard gunfire, and feared they might not make it.

A Vietnamese embassy officer in Libya had said the workers were short of food and water, and pledged to take "all means" necessary to get them out.

Tens of thousands of other Asians were also working in the country, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi has used air strikes and other firepower in a bid to crush anti-government protests that erupted in mid-February.

The number of people who have fled violence in Libya since last month has passed 215,000 according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), but the large majority have either been evacuated or left the border areas.

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