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Fears Libya blocking migrant escape

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Fears Libya blocking migrant escape


Thousands of foreigners are still desperately trying to flee the crisis in Libya.

Just across the border in Tunisia euronews saw for itself long lines of Bangladeshi migrant workers escaping the unrest.

Many were forced to walk because of a shortage of buses to take them to a United Nations refugee camp.

Almost 200,000 refugees are estimated to have fled Libya so far. But the number of migrants coming into Tunisia has dropped significantly in the last day or so.

The exact reason is still unclear, but the UN believes thousands of would-be evacuees are being prevented from crossing by pro-Gaddafi forces, who are now in charge on the other side of the border.

The UN’s transit camp lies some six kilometres from the frontier. For some, however, the heat, lack of food and water, proves too much. Euronews witnessed one man collapsing from exhaustion.

Along with those from Bangladesh, a steady stream of migrants from countries such as Sudan and Vietnam are crossing.

Euronews’ correspondent Jamel Ezzedini says: ‘‘The ones left behind, that is how one could brand the thousands of Bangladeshi refugees on the Tunisian Libyan border.

“The operation to evacuate them hasn’t even started. They’re marching in their thousands, a six kilometre journey between border crossing of Ras Jedir and the Choucha refugee camp where they will be housed while waiting for their chance to leave. A chance that may or may not come.’‘

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