Watch CBS News

U.S. To Evacuate Hundreds Of Americans From Libya

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- The turmoil roiling in Tripoli is having an impact here in New York, as local Libyans plan protests at the United Nations.   

Even Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's diplomats are abandoning him. Speaking here in New York after the U.N. Security Council's closed-door emergency session last night, Libya's deputy ambassador condemned what he calls the "genocide" that's taking place.

"Once again I call on the Libyan regime to stop killing the Libyan people," said Ibrahim Dabbashi.

With violence in Libya escalating almost by the hour, the U.S. government overnight began offering help to Americans looking to leave the North African nation.

The State Department believes there are about 600 U.S. citizens along with several thousand dual U.S.-Libyan nationals currently in Libya.

The U.S. will begin Wednesday evacuating Americans from Libya to Malta by ferry. The drastic measures, officials said, were necessary and come as the U.N. Security Council expresses grave concern over the bloodshed.

"As always the safety and well-being of the Americans has to be our highest priority," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Boarding the vessel is on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.

Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi remained defiant, vowing to "cleanse" his country of protesters and fight to his last drop of blood as his government continues its violent crackdown on protesters calling for an end to his regime.

With gun battles raging in the capital city of Tripoli, Qaddafi promised to hunt down and kill the throngs of anti-government protesters "house by house."


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.