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Warship evacuates South Koreans from Libya

SEOUL, Mar 4 – A warship carrying 32 South Koreans evacuated from strife-torn Libya will arrive at the Mediterranean island of Malta later Friday, Seoul\’s defence ministry said.

The 4,500-ton South Korean destroyer Choi Young left Tripoli on Thursday en route for Valletta, said spokesman Kim Min-Seok.

"After safely transporting them to Malta, the Choi Young will be on standby outside the port of Tripoli to support further evacuation efforts," Kim was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

The 32 Koreans include three women and three elementary school students, Kim said.

The warship had been stationed in waters near Somalia on anti-piracy patrol before being dispatched to Libya.

Seoul has already evacuated hundreds of nationals via chartered flights and ships while scores of others fled by land to Tunisia and Egypt.

Almost all South Koreans wishing to leave Libya were expected to have left as early as this weekend, officials said.

Some 100 people still want to remain in the country though the number could change if the situation worsens, they said.

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