PH orders mandatory evacuation in Libya

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 20 2014 11:54 AM | Updated as of Jul 21 2014 07:07 PM

A general view of the front of the airport is seen after a shelling at Tripoli International Airport on July 17, 2014. Photo by Hani Amara, Reuters

MANILA - (UPDATED) The government on Sunday ordered the estimated 13,000 Filipinos in Libya to flee that country due to the worsening unrest there.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ordered the mandatory evacuation of Filipinos in Libya "in response to the extremely unstable political and security situation," a statement said.

The order also bars Filipinos from travelling to Libya.

Filipinos were told to contact the embassy in Tripoli for instructions on "mass evacuation," the statement said without giving details.

Unrest has escalated in recent days with rival militia groups fighting around Tripoli airport, which has been shut down as fears grow of all-out civil war.

About 10 million Filipinos live and work abroad, many of them in Middle East, having left their homeland in search of better-paying jobs. However this has often placed them in delicate situations when violence breaks out in these countries.

On Saturday, the DFA also ordered the 100 Filipinos living in Gaza to leave the besieged Palestinian territory as Israel presses its offensive.

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