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Libyan refugees flee fighting in West

05-06-2011 13:51 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

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The UN says around 30-thousand Libyans have already crossed the western border into Tunisia. Fighting between rebels and Muammar Gaddafi's forces is fueling the exodus, and the number is expected to reach at least 50 thousand by the end of the month.

Libyans are pouring into Tunisia at a daily rate of 4,000, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

The UN body has set up tents in Remada, some 50 kilometers from the border. Fighting there has intensified over the last few weeks between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and rebels.

The UN is trying to place the refugees with host families in Tunisia, but more than a thousand have been stuck in tents for two weeks now.

The winds in these desert outposts are frequent, daily temperatures can soar up to more than 40 degrees Celsius, food is scarce and facilities basic.

Kheira, From Libyan City of Zintan, said, "The situation is a tragedy, if the situation carries on that way, all the refugees from this camp will fall ill - with very serious and dangerous illnesses, especially with the toilets we use, the kids will get sick and it's really a tragedy. "

The fighting seems to have reached a stalemate but the shelling and the shooting hasn't.

Refugee numbers are expected to continue to rise over the next few weeks.

Ayman Gharaibeh, Leader of Unhcr Refugee Agency, said, "We have right now 1500 Libyans in Remada Camp and may exceed 50,000 people in the next month."

Among people who have crossed over are the frail, the young and the old and those who are unable to care for themselves.

The UN is not just concerned about the fighting.

It has growing concerns about access to food and medicine. Although this particularly affects the rebel-held east, the situation in the west is unclear.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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