Greek ships ferry thousands more Chinese out of Libya

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Two chartered Greek vessels carrying about 4,000 Chinese evacuees left unrest-wracked Libya on Saturday afternoon for the Mediterranean island of Crete.

Also on board Hellenic Spirit and Olympic Champion, chartered by the Chinese embassy in Athens, were several hundred evacuees of other nationalities, including 229 Vietnamese working for the Chinese companies that have businesses in Libya.

The two vessels, sailing back from the eastern Libyan port of Benghazi hours apart, are expected to arrive at Crete's Heraklion port in tandem Sunday.

The Chinese passengers will then stay on the Greek island until chartered flights take them back home in the coming days. Those from other countries will also be retransferred to their homelands.

It was the second time for the two ships to plow the rough Mediterranean Sea to ferry fleeing Chinese to Crete during the ongoing large-scale operation carried out by Beijing. Some 4,200 others were carried to Crete in their first mission on Thursday.

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