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Influx of evacuees from Lebanon continues unabated
2006-07-21 12:21:51

Nicosia, Jul 21 (CNA) ? Ships continue to dock in Cyprus ports, bringing citizens of various nationalities who are fleeing Lebanon.

Cruise ship ''Orient Queen'', hired by the United States, docked in Limassol port at around 8 this morning local time with approximately 1000 people on board.

Royal Navy HMS Bulwark also docked this morning in Limassol port, with 1300 people on board, mainly British citizens.

British High Commissioner to Cyprus Peter Millett told reporters at Limassol port that 2.500 Britons have so far been evacuated from Lebanon.

Millett said there were no injured people among the 1300 citizens, who arrived today.

He thanked the Cyprus government and the authorities for their help to Britain and in general to the international effort of evacuating foreigners from Lebanon.

He said Britons arriving to Cyprus are transferred to the British Sovereign Bases and will depart the soonest on planes for Britain.

Millet said no other British ship is expected from Lebanon today but there may be new arrivals tomorrow, pending on whether there are other British citizens who wish to leave Lebanon.

Royal Navy HMS York also docked in Limassol port last night, carrying 350 foreign citizens, mainly British, while Greek cruise chip ''Crete 2'' also docked in the port, carrying approximately 1500 people.

Meanwhile Cypriot cruise ship ?Serenade?, charted by the UN to carry UN staff from Lebanon, Greek ?Alkion? carrying 750 people, ?USS Nashville? carrying approximately 1200 US citizens and Indian ?Bombay? carrying 600 Indian citizens, all docked in Larnaka port.

?Alkion?, ?Serenade? and ?USS Nashville? have set sail for Beirut again to carry other foreign citizens to Cyprus later tonight.

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