13,122 OFWs urged to leave Libya

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

MANILA -- At least 13,122 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya were urged to go back to the Philippines as the security situation in the Arab country continues to worsen.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised on Thursday Libya's crisis level alert from 2 to 3.

Under level 3, Filipinos are "encouraged to leave the country as soon as possible." The Philippine Government will shoulder the repatriation cost.

The raising of alert level was spurred by the start of a revolt by General Khalifa Hifter in Tripoli against Islamic extremists.

Just last Sunday, the parliament building in Tripoli was stormed and ransacked by armed militias and the legislature was declared suspended.

The strikes come a day after an al-Qaeda-inspired group called Ansar al-Shariah vowed to battle Hifter's forces and open the "doors of hell" if he continued his offensive. The group also warned the United States and Arab countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against supporting Hifter.

The series of attacks by Hifter loyalists against Islamic extremist militias has already left at least 70 people dead.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario went to Libya on Wednesday to help assess the situation.

OFWs may contact the Philippine Embassy in KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, Tripoli. Its hotline number is (+218) 918244208; telephone number (+218-21) 483-3966; and e-mail addresses: tripoli.pe@gmail.com; tripoli.pe@dfa.gov.ph. (Sunnex/With AP)

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