Passengers begin boarding Tripoli evacuation boat: IOM
Foreigners seeking to leave the Libyan capital have begun boarding an evacuation ship chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the agency said Thursday.
"IOM staff have begun boarding migrants wanting to leave the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on its chartered boat heading for (the eastern Libyan city of) Benghazi," it noted in a statement.
"The boat, which had been anchored off the Tripoli coast since Tuesday evening, was finally able to dock late Thursday morning after security conditions in and around the port area had sufficiently improved, IOM said.
It noted that roughly 200 foreigners being evacuated are Egyptians, Filipinos, Canadians, Algerians, Moroccans and an Italian.
The IOM said the vessel would leave for Benghazi later Thursday and the migrants would subsequently be transported to the Egyptian border at Salloum before being helped return to their home countries.
A second boat with a "much larger" capacity is due to arrive over the weekend.
The IOM said Tuesday that around 1,700 Filipinos, 2,000 Bangladeshis and 1,500 to 2,000 Egyptians have registered with their embassies to be evacuated from Tripoli.
"Many more, including Sub-Saharan Africans who live on the outskirts of Tripoli might also require assistance," it added.
© 2011 AFP