China evacuates 38 Chinese, 45 Sri Lankans from Yemen

Updated: 2015-04-06 18:30


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AL-HODAYDA, Yemen - A Chinese warship carrying 38 Chinese nationals and 45 Sri Lankans left Yemen's western port of al-Hodayda on Monday for Djibouti.

It was the last group of Chinese nationals who sought to be evacuated from Yemen. On March 29, Chinese naval vessel Linyi frigate, docked at the Aden port, took with it 122 Chinese nationals. One day later, another navy ship, Weifang missile frigate, evacuated a total of 449 Chinese citizens from Yemen's western port of al-Hodayda and left for Djibouti.

As Beijing has been busy taking its own nationals away from a ramping-up crisis, it has also been trying to lend a helping hand to citizens of other countries whose lives were also threatened.

On Thursday and at the request of 10 countries, the Linyi frigate returned to Aden port to evacuate 225 of their citizens, including 176 from Pakistan, 29 from Ethiopia, five from Singapore, four from Poland, three from Italy, three from Germany, two from Britain, one from Canada, one from Ireland and one from Yemen.

They have arrived in Djibouti safely. Chinese warships have also helped withdraw eight nationals of Romania, India and Egypt while evacuating Chinese citizens late last month.

Chinese Ambassador to Yemen Tian Qi, who is also on board the Linyi frigate, said "China helping other countries to evacuate their citizens demonstrates the spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism."

The Chinese embassy and consulate general in Yemen are closed after all diplomatic staff left the country on Sunday, according to the ambassador.

At the request of Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, France, Romania and Spain, the Chinese government help evacuate their citizens from Yemen, Tian said.

Saudi-led coalition forces on March 26 launched air strikes in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi group and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The air campaign has led to the suspension of all commercial flights at airports across the country. Only a few airports are open for charter planes.

The military operations have left at least 130 people killed and more than 500 others wounded nationwide, which forced other countries to evacuate their citizens from the Arab country.