Foreign and Military Affairs

Military planes dispatched

Updated: 2011-03-01 07:46

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - China sent four military planes to Libya on Monday as part of the ongoing effort to evacuate its citizens.

The team, composed of four Ilyushin Il-76s, will fly its citizens home. The transporter is a multi-purpose four-engine strategic air lifter, designed by the former Soviet Union's Ilyushin bureau.

It has been used for emergency response transport for civilian evacuations, especially to undeveloped areas, because of its ability to operate from unpaved runways.

The four planes, with medical staff on board, took off from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Monday afternoon.

As of Monday morning nearly 30,000 Chinese nationals had left Libya, where political turmoil started on Feb 16.

Around 2,500 Chinese citizens had already returned home and 23,000 more had been sent to Greece, Malta, Tunisia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, where they were waiting to board flights home. Another 3,400 had left Libya by ship.


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