Embassy in Egypt sets up border land post for Indians in Libya

Cairo: With a bulk of the 18,000 Indians still stranded in strife-torn Libya, the Indian embassy in neighbouring Egypt has set up a land border crossing point to facilitate the evacuation through the desert.

The setting up of a land post comes after the government pressed in special air flights and ships to bring back the stranded Indians.

The Indian embassy has posted a delegation at Egypt`s crossing of Salloum on the border with Libya.

The delegation is facilitating the issuing of new traveling papers for those whose documents were destroyed, burnt down or lost in the chaos in Libya.

Up to 170 Indians were issued new identity papers till last mornig before they headed back to India, the embassy said.

Another 100 Indian expats have been evacuated from Libyan ports, it said.

According to Indian ambassador in Egypt R Swaminathan, efforts will continue until all Indians in Libya are evacuated to safety.

Nearly 20 per cent of an estimated 18,000 Indians have been pulled out of the north African nation so far, and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna spoke to his Libyan counterpart Mussa Kussa yesterday seeking help in evacuating the remaining Indians, many of whom are in the interior regions of Libya.

Besides daily Air India flights from Tripoli which have so far evacuated 1,083 people, the ship Scotia Prince, set sail for Alexandria in Egypt from Benghazi with an estimated 1,188 Indian nationals on board yesterday.

The government has also instructed all private airlines to operate one flight each to Libya everyday from today to bring back stranded Indians from the country.