News / Middle East

Thousands Fleeing Libyan Violence Cross Into Tunisia

People carry their belongings after they fled Libya at the Tunisia-Libya border, near the village of Ras El Jedir, Tunisia, Feb. 24, 2011
People carry their belongings after they fled Libya at the Tunisia-Libya border, near the village of Ras El Jedir, Tunisia, Feb. 24, 2011
Lisa Bryant

Thousands of people fleeing violence in Libya streamed across Tunisia's southeastern border post of Ras El Jedir, where local citizens had mobilized food and transportation.  

They came to this desolate border area by truck, car and bus -Tunisians, Libyans, Egyptians, Chinese and Turks. All fleeing the clashes in Libya, where the opposition appeared to be gaining more areas of eastern Libya while forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi fought back elsewhere.

Tunisian Boubaker Saidan arrived in Ras El Jedir by bus from Tripoli with his wife and child.   He said things were bad in Tripoli. He had seen bullets and people had been killed.

Same story from Libyan Nater Alkerlissi, who drove through the border crossing, manned by Tunisian soldiers, in a four-wheel truck.   Alkerlissi said he arrived from the Libyan city of Zawiya near the capital - where protesters had reportedly clashed with Gadhafi loyalists on Thursday.  He said he had heard of deaths and scores injured, but he had not seen any dead firsthand.

The regional head of the Red Crescent told the French news agency AFP Thursday that about 5,000 people have fled across the Tunisian border here.  But Hamid Bouraui, an official with Tunisia's social affairs ministry, offered a higher estimate in an interview with VOA - saying about 6,000 people had passed through Wednesday and 2,000 Thursday morning alone.  It was impossible to confirm these numbers.

Bouraui said people fleeing Libya were afraid. They had seen bullets and death.

Tunisians in this area have organized food, transportation and medical services for those in need. A local scouts' group has set up a small stand, offering sandwiches, yoghurt and drinks for people.

Scouts' leader Kamel Fria said the scouts and other community groups are also handing out funds to the neediest to pay for their transportation. Local tour operators are also volunteering their buses to help transport foreigners to the Djerba airport in southern Tunisia, where they are finally flying home.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid