Filipino nurses flee Tripoli hospitals amid bombardment
Filipino nurses have fled hospitals in Tripoli amid escalating fighting between rival militias for control of the Libyan capital.
Elmer Cato, charge d’affaires at the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, informed Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. by Twitter on Thursday that embassy officials tried to extricate several nurses but were unable to reach them due to intense fighting.
“The nurses described the firefights and artillery exchanges as the worst they have seen in the many years they have been in Libya,” Cato said.
“We will keep trying until we cannot anymore,” Locsin replied.
Cato reported that the embassy was providing shelter to 13 Filipino nurses who fled the fierce fighting on the southern outskirts of Tripoli on Wednesday afternoon.
More than 40 other nurses and their dependents were evacuated and were staying with friends and relatives in the capital, he added.
Cato also said that with more and more airstrikes in and around Tripoli, embassy staff covered part of the roof with a huge Philippine flag in hopes it would not be targeted.
The government has ordered a mandatory evacuation of more than 1,000 Filipinos working in Tripoli.
Locsin, however, has said the government will not force the Filipinos to leave. —JEROME ANING