A group of 11 Taiwanese returned home from Libya early yesterday morning, where they were welcomed by anxious family members at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
They were accompanied by Tu Chih-yung (涂智永), an officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was stationed in Tripoli.
“It took two days and two nights to return home safely,” Tu said to reporters at the airport.
Following the closure of the airport in Tripoli, the group left Libya by traveling overland to Tunis a 10-hour trip during which they passed 30 checkpoints. They flew back to Taiwan after transiting in Frankfurt, Germany, Tu said.
Among the group were four employees of the state-owned CPC Corp (CPC, 台灣中油), who were in Libya for a joint exploration project between CPC Corp and Libya’s National Oil Corporation.
One of the CPC employees surnamed Cheng (鄭) said the whole of Tripoli was in turmoil.
People in the country did not know whether what had been reported by media were facts or rumors as the Libyan government kept tight control over the media, Cheng said.
Asked by reporters if they had taken any videotape footage or photographs with them a man surnamed Kuo (郭) said that all digital memory cards had been confiscated.
Four Taiwanese remained in Libya as they preferred to stay to look after their businesses and employees there, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, ministry spokesman James Chang (章計平) said yesterday that a female Taiwanese student studying in New Zealand remains unaccounted for four days after a powerful earthquake shook the city of Christchurch.