Foreigners flee chaos in Libya

Last Updated 8:57 a.m. ET

The U.N. refugee agency says more than 100,000 people have fled violence in Libya to neighboring countries in the past week.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says approximately 55,000 people have arrived in Egypt since Feb. 19. About 7,000 of those are third country nationals mostly from Asia.

A further 50,000 people (including 2,000 Chinese and 2,500 Libyans) have crossed into Tunisia.

Geneva-based UNHCR says one group comprising Bangladeshis, Thais and Pakistanis were found marooned without papers in no-man's land between Libya and Egypt near Sallum.

The agency said Sunday that it has airlifted 100 metric tons of aid, including 2,000 tents, to Jerba in Tunisia, from where it will be transported to the Libyan border.

Meanwhile, hundreds of foreigners continue to scramble to leave strife-torn Libya.

Television footage on Saturday night showed crowds of evacuees gathering at the airport in the country's capital, Tripoli.

Security officials were at the scene but there appeared to be no trouble.

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The sheer numbers of foreigners leaving Libya as Moammar Qaddafi's regime attacks anti-government protesters has been staggering.

As of Saturday, at least 16,000 Chinese, 15,000 Turks and 1,400 Italians had been evacuated, most working in the construction and oil industries.

In a secret rescue mission on Saturday, British military planes entered Libyan air space and picked up oil workers and others from desert locations.

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The frigate HMS Cumberland is also returning to the eastern Libyan port of Benghazi to pick up people waiting there.

More than 2,800 Chinese workers landed in Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete aboard a Greek ship on Saturday.

Further to the west, another 2,200 Chinese arrived in Valletta after a long journey from Benghazi.

Hours earlier, in the dark of night, a US-chartered ferry dropped off over 300 passengers in Valletta who spent three days waiting to leave Libya's chaotic capital.

Meanwhile, two ferries carrying foreigners were waiting to leave Tripoli on Sunday, delayed by officialdom and rough seas, while a Russian-chartered ferry arrived at a port further east.

In addition, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that some 22,000 people have fled across the Libyan border to Tunisia and another 15,000 crossed the border into Egypt.