Spain to help airlift Egyptians fleeing Libya

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Spain will send a plane to Tunisia on Thursday to ferry aid and help airlift home thousands of Egyptians fleeing unrest in Libya, the foreign ministry said.

The plane will take off from a military airbase at Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid for the the Tunisian island of Dejerba near the border with Libya at noon (1100 GMT), the ministry said in a statement.

It will carry out three daily flights between Djerba and Cairo to bring Egyptian nationals home.

The plane will also bring a load of humanitarian aid from Spain to Tunisia for the refugees.

Escaping the unrest in Libya, growing numbers of people have fled over the northwestern border into Tunisia, including Egyptians now stuck in refugee camps with little prospect of getting home.

Britain is sending several planes to airlift thousands of Egyptians stuck in refugee camps, while France said it was sending a helicopter carrier to waters off Libya to help evacuate civilians.

© 2011 AFP

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