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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to send 4 additional evacuation planes, ship to Libya

RIA Novosti

19:26 25/02/2011

MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plans to send four additional planes and a ferry to evacuate people from riot-torn Libya, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Violent nationwide protests demanding the end of the 42-year rule of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi are currently raging across Libya. National authorities clamped down on the protests. According to international organizations, between 640 and 4,000 were affected in the clashes. Libyan authorities pledged to continue to suppress the opposition.

"Over the last few days, 481 people (330 Russians and 151 citizens of other countries) have been evacuated from the cities of Tripoli and Sirt by Russian Emergencies Ministry planes. Two additional planes are set to be sent to each of these two cities," a statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry website said.

"Today, at 00.30 a.m. [local time] the Saint Stefan-2 ferry, which has a capacity of 1,000 people, left the Italian port of Bari for the [Libyan] port of Ras Lanuf. It should take on board 842 people...The vessel is expected to arrive in Ras Lanuf in the evening of February 27."

Besides the 330 Russian nationals over the last few days evacuated from Libya, Russia also evacuated citizens from Serbia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and a dozen other countries.

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