The scramble to evacuate foreign nationals out of Libya is in full swing as the situation in the North African country continues to deteriorate.
Two Turkish ferries have set sail from Istanbul to collect thousands of its citizens stranded in the strife-torn nation.
Italy, with strong economic links to Libya, is also moving to get its nationals out.
Franco Frattini is the Italian foreign minister:
“We are not forcing anyone to return to Italy, but we will provide ships and planes for those who wish to return. This morning we sent a special Alitalia flight to Tripoli to bring people back, but there are no forced evacuations.”
Britain has sent a charter plane and dispatched a Royal Navy frigate to waters off Libya to assist British subjects.
France, the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal and Austria are also evacuating nationals.
At Frankfurt airport a German teacher spoke of the event that lit the torch in Tripoli:
“I think the moment it started was when militia, Africans from Chad I believe, started killing people for money, at that moment it all started in Tripoli, at that point Libyans said we are being shot at, there is no return.”
Land borders are also swamped with a reported 12,000 people crossing into Egypt from Libya fleeing the violence and lawlessness engulfing the nation.