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HANOI: All 10,000 Vietnamese workers have escaped from the political turmoil in Libya, official media reported Thursday. The last of 10 special flights by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines touched down in Hanoi on Wednesday with more than 200 workers, Vietnam News said. The airliners were operating from Tunisia and Egypt, Libya's neighbours.

Labour minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was quoted as saying that 8,728 workers were already home, while more than 1,000 were en route by sea and more than 350 others were travelling by other means.

The first labourer to reach Vietnam late last month told local media they heard gunfire, and feared they might not make it.

A Vietnamese embassy officer in Libya had said the workers were short of food and water, and pledged "all means" to get them out.

Tens of thousands of other Asians were also working in the country, whose leader Moamer Kadhafi has used air strikes and other firepower in a bid to crush anti-government protests that erupted in mid-February.

The number of people who have fled violence in Libya since last month has passed 215,000 according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), but the large majority have been evacuated or left the border areas.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011 

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