Amid mass pro-democracy protests in crisis-hit Libya, at least 30 Iranian nationals suffering grave escalation of insecurity in the North African country have returned home.
The Iranian nationals arrived in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport Sunday night after Iran’s Foreign Ministry sent an IranAir-operated plane to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to repatriate them.
The Iranians said they were suffering deep instability and insecurity, adding there were shootings in the streets of Tripoli at nights, IRIB reported on its website on Monday.
According to one of the passengers, some of the staff at the Iranian embassy are still in Tripoli while a number of Iranians living in Benghazi are scheduled to return to the country by ship.
Conditions at the airports of Tripoli have been described as chaotic as many flights were cancelled or did not receive permission to take off.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Sunday that nearly 100,000 people have fled the violence in Libya over the past week.
The evacuation of foreign nationals has picked up speed since Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi threatened to arm his supporters in order to suppress the pro-democracy protesters.
In response to Gaddafi’s bloody repression of protesters, the UN Security Council on Saturday imposed sanctions on Gaddafi and members of his inner circle and referred the Libyan ruler to the International Criminal Court.