U.N. to Launch Tripoli Evacuation

    Image #: 15056079    (1108017)--TRIPOLI, Aug 17, 2011 (Xinhua)--  Smoke billows after a NATO air raid in Tajura, a suburb of the capital Tripoli, Libya, August 17, 2011.     (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)        XINHUA /LANDOV

    Hamza Turkia, Xinhua / Landov

    As the Libyan rebels approach Tripoli, the United Nations says it will launch an operation to evacuate thousands of foreigners trapped in the capital. Many of Libya's estimated 1.5 million to 2.5 million foreigners, mostly migrant workers from Africa and Asia, have remained in Tripoli, which until recently had been far from the fighting. This week, however, rebels have closed in on the capital, capturing nearby towns and cutting off roads and severing supply lines into the city. A U.N. spokeswoman said an operation, likely by sea, would begin within days to evacuate foreigners stranded there.

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