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Chinese warship with 83 evacuees from Yemen arrives in Djibouti

Updated: Apr 7,2015 10:59 AM     Xinhua

A Sri Lankan national embraces a crew member of the Chinese “Linyi” missile frigate in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015. A total of 38 Chinese nationals and 45 Sri Lankans evacuated by the Chinese frigate from Yemen arrived in Djibouti early on April 7. [Photo/Xinhua]

DJIBOUTI — A Chinese navy ship carrying 83 Chinese and Sri Lankan nationals evacuated from Yemen arrived at the Port of Djibouti on April 7.

Aboard Linyi missile frigate were the last batch of Chinese nationals and staff members of the Chinese Embassy, plus 45 Sri Lankan citizens.

It is the fourth evacuation mission organized by the Chinese government since Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The vessel left Yemen’s western port of al-Hodayda and arrived at the Port of Djibouti after an almost 12-hour voyage.

The evacuated Chinese will travel on to China on a commercial flight later in the day.

“The security situation has worsened in Sanaa these days. There was almost constant bombing during daytime and explosions could also be heard at night ... But the moment I embarked on Linyi, my nerves were at ease. We are really grateful for what the government has done for us,” an engineer from a Chinese construction company told Xinhua after getting off the ship.

Fathima Abdul Cader, a Sri Lankan woman, and her husband were also among the passengers. The 40-year-old said she had a very pleasant experience during the voyage.

“I feel so comfortable with what they have done in the ship. They provide us not only food and necessities but also entertainment. I didn’t expect this. It is so nice to get to know Chinese people. Thank you, China,” she said.

It is the first time that Linyi has picked up evacuees at the port of al-Hodayda, said Chinese military official Jiang Guoping. “The evacuation operation was a smooth one, thanks to thorough preparations by the Chinese Embassy in Yemen. We are pleased to see the evacuees arriving at the destination safely,” he said.

The two previous evacuation missions undertaken by Linyi were both from the Port of Aden.

Another Chinese warship Weifang also participated in the evacuation efforts by the Chinese government.

China has evacuated 629 of its nationals and 279 foreign citizens from Yemen in four operations, all undertaken by vessels of the naval escort fleet patrolling the Gulf of Aden and waters around Somalia.

Given deteriorating security in Yemen, the Chinese Embassy in Yemen and the country’s Consulate General Aden are closed temporarily.

Chinese nationals walk off the Chinese “Linyi” missile frigate in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Crew members of the Chinese “Linyi” missile frigate transport baggages of the passengers in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

A Sri Lankan national shakes hands with an officer of the Chinese “Linyi” missile frigate in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Sri Lankan nationals walk off the Chinese “Linyi” missile frigate in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese nationals wave in a bus in Djibouti, on April 7, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]