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Crisis alert level 3 raised in Libya; Pinoys told to leave

In this image made from video provided by the Libyan national army via AP Television, vehicles with heavy artillery of the Tripoli joint security forces move closer to the parliament building after troops of Gen. Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, May 18, 2014. Forces loyal to a rogue Libyan general attacked the country's parliament Sunday, expanding his eastern offensive against Islamists into the heart of the country's capital. AP/Libyan national army

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is urging Filipinos in Libya to leave the African country due to the worsening security situation there.

The agency said this on Thursday as it raised crisis alert level 3 (voluntary repatriation phase) in Libya, where an estimated 13,122 Filipinos reside.

"Under Crisis Alert Level 3, Filipinos in Libya are encouraged to leave the country voluntarily as soon as possible. The Philippine government will shoulder the repatriation cost," the DFA said in a statement.

Libya remains largely in chaos following the 2011 civil war, as the rebels who ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi later formed the militias now holding the country hostage.

On Wednesday, Libya's interim prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni challenged the appointment of his Islamist-backed potential successor, setting the stage for an intense power struggle as airstrikes targeted a militia camp in the country's east.

According to the DFA, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario went to Tripoli on May 28 to meet with Philippine Embassy officials and a rapid response team there to implement the government's contingency plan.

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The DFA also advised Filipinos in Libya to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to coordinate their repatriation.

The Embassy, which is located in KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, Tripoli, can be reached through the following:

-with the Associated Press

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