Chinese Workers Attacked, Stranded in Libya

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The Chinese Embassy in Libya confirmed that a construction site run by Huafeng Construction Co., Ltd. from China’s Zhejiang Province was robbed, and thousands of Chinese workers were forced to leave. They were carrying passports, return flight tickets, food and water, and reportedly set out to walk hundreds of kilometers to Tripoli to fly back home. The Chinese embassy is helping to arrange their evacuation.

Du Minghao, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Tripoli, said that 15 Chinese people were injured in the attack, and were sent to the hospital, but are not in critical condition. Du said the Chinese embassy in Libya was working on their safe return. But another employee of the Chinese embassy said that the airport has been closed, making it very difficult to carry out any kind of evacuation.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that the situation in Libya is tense, especially in the eastern Benghazi and Al Bayda region, where demonstrations broke out that have led to casualties. Many Chinese in the area have been attacked and have lost much of their property, the Sing Tao reports. The Ministry of Commerce suggested that investment companies that had planned to go to Libya should not send any sales people to the country, and should tell their Chinese workers in Libya not to go out based on security considerations.

Other foreign companies in Libya have also been attacked. The South Korean Foreign Ministry said 500 Libyans attacked and looted a Korean construction site, killing at least 15 Bangladeshis and three Koreans. The European Union has said it is ready to carry out an evacuation if necessary, and Britain and the United States have ordered the families of embassy staff to leave Libya.