6 Filipinos back from Libya

MANILA, Philippines—Six more Filipinos trapped in the violence-racked Libyan city of Misurata arrived in Manila on Thursday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
The DFA also said seven Filipino nurses earlier reported missing in Libya have been accounted for, with five of them returning home with other Filipinos from the strife-torn north African country.
The six Filipinos, five of them nurses and an engineer, were fetched and rescued in Zitlin by Philippine officials led by Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario after being trapped in Misurata for 23 days.
Zitlin is the town closest to Misurata, Libya's third largest city. From Zitlin, the group traveled to the capital of Tripoli, then crossed the country's border with Tunisia.
With the six were three other Filipinos who were earlier brought out of Tripoli through the Tunisian border and flew out of Djerba on Tuesday, the DFA said.
The Filipinos were welcomed on their arrival by DFA officials and by a representative from the International Organization for Migration.
The six Filipinos were identified as Evangeline Garcia, Evjoalyn Calam, Catherine Galue, Valerie Joy Ventura, Celeste Canbangay, and Vincent Sanchez.
The nurses also confirmed that two other nurses, Bernadette Pavurada and Lilian Rosales, had sent them an e-mail saying they are safe and are now in Benghazi. They were part of the group of nurses working at the National Oncology Institute in Misrata who were earlier reported missing.
In the morning of March 18, Libyan government forces stormed the area where the six Filipinos were residing and camped beside their residence, just across the street where opposition forces were stationed, they told the DFA.
“What followed were days of non-stop fighting,” the DFA said of their ordeal.
“The Filipino workers were unable to leave because snipers from either side readily shot anyone seen on the street,” the DFA said.
“The nurses tended the wounds of the soldiers. Two of them said that they had to break into an abandoned pharmacy across the street to get medicines and tools to treat and even perform surgical procedures on the casualties,” the DFA said.
Their service prompted Libyan government troops to transfer the Filipinos to a safer place. “Twenty-three days later they found themselves in Zitlin, the town closest to west of Misrata where they were rescued by embassy officials,” the DFA sai




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