Dutch evacuees set to arrive from war-torn Lebanon
21 July 2006, AMSTERDAM – Nearly 700 Dutch people living in Lebanon have been repatriated or have left the country of their own accord, a spokesman for the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said on Friday.
21 July 2006
AMSTERDAM – Nearly 700 Dutch people living in Lebanon have been repatriated or have left the country of their own accord, a spokesman for the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said on Friday.
Two planeloads of Dutch evacuees from Lebanon were scheduled to arrive in the Netherlands on Friday.
The first group arrived in a KLM 747 chartered by the ministry that landed at Schiphol at 14.00. It consisted of 48 Dutch, 118 Belgians and five Australians. The Dutch had been transferred on Wednesday by ship from Lebanon to Cyprus, where they were put up by the Dutch embassy. The Belgians and Australians had been invited along because there were a lot of seats available after the Dutch had been accommodated.
A DC10 operated by the Dutch air force was scheduled to land in Eindhoven on Friday night with another 160 evacuees onboard. This group of evacuees had departed Lebanon in convoys of buses for Syria or had left the country on their own in other ways, the foreign ministry spokesman said.
The flight was scheduled to take off from the Syrian city of Aleppo at 21.00, and would spend an estimated 4.5 hours in the air before landing in Eindhoven.
The evacuees were escaping the crisis that is unfolding in Lebanon as Israeli forces have launched cross-borders attacks on positions of the Hezbollah, an Islamic militant organisation, after the kidnapping earlier this month of two Israeli soldiers. The hostilities have disrupted everyday life in southern Lebanon. On Friday the BBC said that the port of Sidon had reported that it had received a flood of around 30,000 people displaced by the hostilities.
Around 1,300 British nationals had been evacuated by the Royal Navy to Cyprus by Friday. About 1,000 Americans were landed there by an American Navy ship on Friday, the BBC said. On Friday France announced that it was sending a mission to rescue 400 French citizens trapped by the fighting in southern Lebanon.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news