Dutch plane arrives in Tripoli to evacuate its nationals, frigate on stand-by

February 23rd, 2011 - 2:49 am ICT by BNO News  

THE HAGUE (BNO NEWS) — The Dutch Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said it sent a military transport plane to the Libyan capital of Tripoli to evacuate its nationals and put a frigate on stand-by.

Libya has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. More than 250 people have been killed, according to most recent estimates by Human Rights Watch.

The Dutch military’s McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender arrived in Tripoli on early Tuesday evening to assist in the evacuation of Dutch nationals. The Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Tromp is also on its way to Libya to assist in an emergency evacuation if airspace in Libya is closed.

“The frigate is expected near the coast of Libya on Friday. It was en-route to Somalia to participate in the anti-piracy mission Ocean Shield and is now in the Red Sea,” the Ministry of Defense said, adding that the HNLMS De Ruyter would remain longer in African waters to combat piracy.

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