India sends two aircraft to Libya to bring back its nationals

Last Updated 26 February 2011, 08:59 IST

The aircraft will return to New Delhi after picking up passengers at Tripoli, it said.
Besides, two Naval ships -- INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore -- set sail from Mumbai this morning for Libya. The sailing time is about twelve days to Libya.

Another passenger ship with a capacity of 1600, presently in the Mediterranean, is being chartered today and will be pressed into service for assisting the departure of our nationals out of Libya, the statement said.

Scotia Prince, another chartered ship, is scheduled to depart for Benghazi (Libya) from Port Said (Egypt) today at 2000 hrs and is likely to arrive at its destination by the afternoon of February 28. The ship has a capacity of 1200 passengers.

The Ministry said it has positioned additional personnel at the Indian Embassy in Tripoli to help in the process.

There are around 18,000 Indians in Libya and the government is concerned about their well-being in view of the deteriorating situation in the country following a popular uprising.

INS Jalashwa is the largest available ship with the Indian Navy, which can be used for carrying out humanitarian efforts of this kind. The over 27,000 tonnes ship can carry more than 1000 passengers and has adequate medical facilities.

Both the ships -- INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore -- have been specially equipped for the task with full medical facilities such as operation theatre, doctors and paramedics. The ships are also carrying helicopters and a contingent of marine Special Forces personnel.
The ships will evacuate Indian nationals from Libya to either Malta or Egypt, from where they will be transferred by air to India.

In July 2006, the Indian Navy had similarly evacuated over 2500 Indians, PIOs and some foreign nationals from Lebanon following the war between Israel and the Hezbollah.
Induction of INS Jalashwa since then has significantly enhanced the capability of the Indian Navy to undertake such humanitarian missions

(Published 26 February 2011, 08:13 IST)

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