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Dutch Marines Released from Libya Arrive in Greece


Three Dutch marines who were captured after a botched evacuation mission in Libya last month arrive at Athens' airport, March 11, 2011

Three Dutch marines who were captured after a botched evacuation mission in Libya last month arrive at Athens' airport, March 11, 2011

Authorities say three Dutch marines held by Libyan government forces for almost two weeks were released early Friday and flown to Greece.

The three marines - two men and one woman - were met in Athens by both Greek and Dutch officials. The officials say the three are in good condition and will be returned to the Netherlands as soon as possible.

The marines were part of a helicopter crew that was captured last month during a botched attempt to evacuate European nationals from Libya.

The helicopter and crew were seized as the aircraft landed. The helicopter remains in Libya.

Libyan state-run media reported at the time that a Dutch helicopter entered Libya in violation of international law.

The two civilians the marines were trying to rescue, including one Dutch national, were handed over to the Dutch Embassy in Tripoli and have since left Libya.

Since the rebellion began in Libya, tens of thousands of foreigners living and working there have returned home or sought refuge elsewhere.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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