German navy ships on way to Libyan coast for evacuations
Feb 24, 2011, 17:36 GMT
Berlin - Three German navy ships were making their way to Libya on Thursday to stand by to evacuate German nationals if needed.
A Defence Ministry spokesman in Berlin said they would enter the Gulf of Sidra, but gave no estimated time of arrival.
The vessels, which have 600 sailors on board, comprises two frigates and a supply ship, the spokesman said.
One of the frigates has a helicopter on board and a second naval helicopter is flying to the Mediterranean from Germany to join it.
Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi claimed the Gulf of Sidra as Libyan territory in the 1970s, provoking several battles with the United States, which assigned naval ships and planes to repeatedly travel through the Gulf to demonstrate that the waters are international.
Germany's Foreign Ministry estimates that about 160 German nationals remain in Libya and are eager to leave.
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