Philippine diplomats have started evacuating a small group of Filipinos from the Libyan capital after it was hit by a barrage of rocket fire that wounded one Filipino.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that three hospital workers and four students were evacuated by Philippine Embassy personnel from Tripoli to Tunisia, where they are to take flights back home.
There are 13 more Filipinos have sought help and are expected to be flown back home in the next few days.
But of about 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli, only 20 have so far asked to be repatriated, including a man who was wounded in the rocket fire late Tuesday in Tripoli. There are also 50 other Filipino workers have been evacuated to safer areas within Libya by their employers
There are more than 2,000 Filipinos in Libya, mostly working as nurses, teachers and oil industry workers.
Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila raised the threat level in Libya’s capital to 3 and urged Filipinos and their dependents in Tripoli and outlying areas to consider leaving temporarily to avoid getting caught in the fighting. If the threat level is raised to 4, the government would have to implement a forced evacuation of Filipinos.
The Philippine labour department has also imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Libya, particularly in Tripoli and areas within a 100-kilometre radius of the capital, because of fighting between rival militias for control of the North African nation’s capital.