Rome: As pro-democracy protests rage in Libya, an Italian navy assault ship has prepared to evacuate Italians and people of other nationalities in the North African country’s port city of Misrata.
The Italian military ship San Giorgio left the Libyan coast on Friday with about 245 people, half of them Italians, and is now heading to the city of Catania in Sicily, ANSA reported on Saturday.
Another few dozen Italians and other foreigners were evacuated onboard an Italian C-130 plane that arrived at an airfield near Rome on Friday.
An Italian navy destroyer is also in the area to be used for more evacuations after bad weather conditions hampered efforts to evacuate two dozen more Italians in the southern parts of Libya.
Meanwhile, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said Rome has given the go-ahead for Britain and the United States to use the Italian Sigonella air base for flights to evacuate their nationals from Libya.
On Friday, more than 300 Americans, including diplomats and their family members were evacuated by a US-chartered ferry from an airfield near downtown Tripoli to a port in Malta.
The ferry arrived in Istanbul later that night with the Americans and one British citizen onboard.
China, Turkey, Germany and Greece have already evacuated their nationals from Libya following the deterioration of security conditions in the North African country.
China dispatched a navy ship to facilitate the evacuation of an estimated 30,000 of its nationals living in Libya, most of whom are employees working on dams, roads and other infrastructure projects.