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New Delhi: Indian Air Force is expected to fly an IL-76 aircraft, which can ferry 300 people, to Libya on Thursday to evacuate Indian citizens stranded there.

"An IL-76 is at the Palam airport and is expected to fly out to Cairo tomorrow morning on its way to Libya," IAF officials said here.

However, the destination of the aircraft is not being disclosed keeping in mind the safety of the evacuees, they added.

After airlifting the nationals from a particular location in Libya, the IL-76 will drop them in Cairo from where the External Affairs Ministry will make arrangements for them to be brought back to India, they said.

The IAF has kept another IL-76 in the stand-by mode and it could also be sent if there is any need to do so, they added.

Defence Minister A K Antony had yesterday said that IAF aircraft were ready to be sent to Libya or any other capital in the region for the evacuation operations.

India is carrying out one of its biggest evacuation exercises where over 18,000 Indian nationals are being brought back to India.

The Navy is already doing its bit in the operations and has sent two of its ships including INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore there.

Already more than 20 per cent of the citizens there have been brought back here.

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