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Thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers flee Libya

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Bangladeshi migrant workers wait near the Tunisian gate at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir after fleeing unrest in Libya on Wednesday, March 2. Thousands of Bangladheshi migrant workers, desperate to leave Libya, pressed up against the gates of the Tunisian border crossing on Wednesday, angry at their government for sending no help.

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

A Bangladeshi migrant workers crosses the Tunisian gate at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir after fleeing unrest in Libya on Wednesday.

Pavel Rahman / AP

Relatives of Bangladeshi workers in Libya wait outside the Dhaka international airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Wednesday. The United Nations says its migration agency has chartered flights to bring home nearly 400 Bangladeshis from Libya after they fled the violence there to the borders of Tunisia and Egypt.

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Bangladeshi migrant workers try to climb over the wall near the Tunisian gate at the Libyan and Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir after fleeing unrest in Libya on Wednesday.

Reuters reports:

Thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers, desperate to leave Libya, pressed up against the gates of the Tunisian border crossing on Wednesday, angry at their government for sending no help.

 

Some have been sleeping for four days in the open on the Libyan side of the border at Ras Jdir with no food aid, through hot days and cold nights.

In an appeal written in English on a bedsheet, they called on the governments of Tunisia and the world to save the lives of 30,000 Bangladeshis.

Mohamed Aslan, 35, from the Bangladeshi district of Jessore, speaking for the crowd behind him, said it was their great misfortune to be born in Bangladesh.

 "This is the very sorrow of our time because we are born in Bangladesh," he said in English. "Nobody from the Bangladesh government came to ask us what is our situation, how can we leave or to bring any kind of help."

Relatives of the Bangladeshis have also staged protests near the airport in Dhaka, carrying placards and banners asking the Bangladesh government to bring them back. More than 50,000 Bangladeshi workers are employed in Libya.