S Koreans to leave Libya on special flight: Ministry
South Korea will send a chartered plane to Libya today to bring home citizens stranded amid growing unrest there, the foreign ministry said.world Updated: Feb 24, 2011 07:51 IST
South Korea will send a chartered plane to Libya today to bring home citizens stranded amid growing unrest there, the foreign ministry said.
A spokesman said that Seoul has chartered an Egyptian Air Airbus A330 to fly some of the estimated 1,400 South Koreans still in Libya to Cairo.
The plane was due to arrive in Tripoli at 9 am local time (0700 GMT), the transport ministry said in a statement, and can accommodate 260 passengers.
A spate of attacks on South Korean-run construction sites in the North African nation has heightened fears for Koreans there. Seoul has urged all citizens without urgent business to leave.
Seoul officials say anti-government protests appear to have fuelled the construction site attacks, which are thought to have been triggered by discontent over the country's housing policy.
South Korean companies have worked on hundreds of construction projects in Libya since 1978. Of the estimated 1,400 South Koreans there now, some 1,000 of them work for companies while the rest are diplomats or aid workers.
The ministry said that 39 Koreans and 1,000 other foreigners working for a Korean construction company in the eastern coastal town of Darnah had driven to the Egyptian border in a convoy of 10 vehicles.
Some of them had finished the immigration process and entered Egypt.
The remaining workers at the Darnah site, 14 Koreans and 476 other foreigners, were intending to drive to the Egyptian border on Thursday.
Last week about 200 Libyans invaded the Darnah site and set fire to a dormitory.