Turkey begins evacuating hundreds from Libya

Published June 24th, 2014 - 04:55 GMT

Turkey is in the process of evacuating hundreds of its citizens from Libya, according to Reuters Tuesday.

Ex-general Khalifa Haftar, who is leading an offensive to oust Islamists in Libya, issued a warning to Turks and Qataris living in Libya to leave the eastern part of the country within the next 48 hours. In his warning, he accused the two countries of supporting the Islamists and "terrorism," due to Ankara's and Doha's support for the Muslim Brotherhood. 

“Four hundred and twenty Turkish workers were evacuated today from Misrata International Airport ... due to the threats coming from the east that have been made by Khalifa Haftar's forces,” said airport spokesman Mohamed Ismail, according to the Reuters report. 

Many Turks evacuated Tuesday work for a power plant in the central city of Sirte. Another 140 are set to be evacuated from the Labraq airport near Benghazi. 

Turkey also relocated its consulate staff in Benghazi to Tripoli earlier this month due to security reasons. 

While Libya's central government says that Haftar has no authority to issue such warnings and lead an offensive in the eastern part of the country, such statements are increasingly ignored due to the central government's failure to maintain order among the growing chaos in the north Africa country. 

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