Crisis team set up to help Irish in Libya as French and

first_imgTHE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has set up a crisis response team to help Irish citizens still in Libya, amid an upsurge of violence in the North African country.Around 200 people have been killed in the last two weeks in the capital, Tripoli, and in the eastern city of Benghazi.Libya has suffered chronic insecurity since Col Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011 — with the new government unable to check militias that helped to remove him and facing a growing threat from Islamist groups.Fighting between the rival militias in Tripoli has forced the closure of the city’s international airport, while Islamist groups are battling army special forces in Benghazi.In the past week, many countries have ordered their citizens to leave and, in some cases, have evacuated them.“Approximately 100 Irish people remain in Libya, most of them long-term residents,” Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said in a statement today. My Department has set up a Crisis Team and is currently in contact with these Irish citizens and their families, to offer advice and assistance.Flanagan said the Department “will continue to provide direct assistance and updated information to Irish citizens and their families, over the coming days”.Any Irish citizens still in Libya who haven’t yet registered their details are being urged to do so at the DFA website.[DFA.ie]Meanwhile, 47 French and British nationals evacuated on a French naval ship from Libya arrived early today in the southern port of Toulon.The group consisting of 40 French citizens, including the French ambassador, and seven Britons were received by the top maritime official in the region.The evacuees included 14 teenagers and children.The group was extracted from Tripoli on Tuesday night by sea because of the clashes at the airport.France on Monday advised its nationals — of whom fewer than 100 remained in Libya – to leave the country immediately and contact the embassy for evacuation.However several nationals who also have Libyan citizenship have opted to stay. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesFighters from the Islamist Misarata brigade fire towards Tripoli airport in an attempt to wrest control from a powerful rival militia.The Philippines has announced a “mandatory” evacuation of all 13,000 of its nationals living in Libya, after the beheading of a Filipino construction worker abducted by unknown suspects.That killing was followed by the gang rape of a Filipina nurse in Tripoli on Wednesday.Includes copy from AFP.Read Two Americans infected with Ebola being evacuated back to USRead President Bush is writing a biography of his dad, President Bushlast_img read more