Greece Evacuating Embassies and Foreign Nationals

Greece has sent a frigate along with two other naval vessels to evacuate its embassy workers in Libya, as well as hundreds of European and Chinese nationals, said government official Thursday.

Salamis the Greek frigate, which is able to carry as many as 100 evacuees should arrive on Thursday in Libya, said an official from the Greek defense ministry.

Another naval vessel, the Prometheus, as well as a passenger ferry are believed to be en route to help the evacuation of workers from Cyprus, Britain and other nations, said officials.

The last two weeks rival militia battles against one another have been some of the worst in Libya since the ouster in 2011 of Muammar Gaddafi.

That has prompted governments in the West to follow the United Nations and the United States in pulling diplomats out of the country in North Africa.

On Wednesday, the French embassy was shuttered and 30 nationals from France were evacuated out of Tripoli, just days after staff from the U.S. embassy were evacuated across the border of Tunisia under heavy escort by the military.

When fighting became heavy back in 2011, passenger ships from Greece evacuated over 10,000 foreign nationals, with the most being workers from China.

Thus far, China has evacuated hundreds of its workers out of Libya and has taken them to Malta by ship.

The Maltese government has arranged for them to have a temporary accommodation and was preparing for the possibility of a large scale evacuation from the country in North Africa if unrest continues to increase.

The Philippines on Wednesday said it chartered one ship to evacuate as many as 1,000 of its citizens to Malta. There were also foreign nationals arriving in Malta on flights from an airport near Tripoli.

The U.S. announced that its ambassador for Libya would now be based temporarily in Malta after being evacuated last Saturday from Tripoli.

Southern Tripoli experienced heavy shelling again on Thursday where militias are battling for control of the main airport in the capital city.

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