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Filipino nurses flee Libya fighting seeks shelter in PH embassy

/ 09:00 AM May 02, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Thirteen Filipino nurses have fled the southern outskirts of the Libyan capital and taken shelter at the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli amid the raging conflict there, Chargé d’Affaires Elmer Cato said.

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“[The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli] is providing shelter to 13 Filipino nurses who fled the fierce fighting in the southern outskirts of Tripoli this afternoon,” Cato said in a Twitter update on Thursday.

“More than 40 other nurses and their dependents also evacuated and are now staying with friends and relatives,” he added.

In a separate tweet, Cato said the embassy tried to “extricate the nurses yesterday but was unable to reach them due to intense fighting in the area.”

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“The nurses describe the firefights and artillery exchanges as the worst they have seen in the many years they have been in Libya,” he added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier appealed to Filipinos in Libya to evacuate to the embassy immediately due to the escalating tension in the north African country.

READ: Locsin to Pinoys in Libya: Evacuate to Philippine Embassy, I beg you

Mandatory repatriation 

On Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised Alert Level 4, or mandatory repatriation of Filipinos, in Tripoli and other areas within a 100-kilometer radius from the capital.

READ: DFA tells Filipinos in Tripoli, nearby areas: Leave now

“Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. raised the alert level upon the recommendation of the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli which said the current situation on the ground could no longer guarantee the safety and security of Filipinos who chose to remain despite repeated appeals for them to go home,” the DFA said in a statement

“Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said the fighting in the outskirts of Tripoli will also soon make it difficult for the Embassy to respond to urgent requests for assistance from distressed nationals,” it added. /cbb

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TAGS: DFA, Elmer Cato, Libya, News, Nurses, Tripoli
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