UN: Increase in Libyans fleeing their country
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 18 /Trend/
The United Nations said Friday it was seeing an increase in the number of Libyans fleeing their country for neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, dpa reported.
"The trend is we are seeing more Libyans coming across the borders," said Andrew Harper from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
Some 1,490 Libyans left the country Thursday, with most saying they "fear being caught up in the fighting," according to Harper. Libyans made up almost half the total number of people fleeing in recent days.
Meanwhile, Palestinians trying to leave Libya for Egypt were being refused entry, UNHCR said Friday.
"Palestinian families have been turned back and are waiting inside Libya," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.
"We are working with Egypt, but this is of concern to us," Fleming said, noting that some Palestinians have been waiting at the border since Tuesday.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an inter-governmental agency, between 1-2.5 million migrant workers remain inside Libya. Some 300,000 people have fled Libya since last month. An estimated 1,500 people are expected to leave daily.
IOM and UNHCR were working to clear camps near the borders, by providing more evacuation flights, in order to prepare for new flows of people fleeing insecurity.