All Libyan ports closed amid mass anti-government unrest

All Libyan ports and terminals have been temporarily closed amid violence in the North African state, France’s major shipping group said on Wednesday.

“Due to a general insurrection in some Libyan cities since last week, all ports and terminals are temporarily closed,” CMA CGM said in a statement adding that the company “is following with great concern the events” in Libya.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Union announced that it planned to evacuate some 10,000 Europeans who remain in Libya.

The European Commission plans to “put extra evacuation capacity” including by sea, spokesman Olivier Bailly said.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said he would not quit despite a countrywide uprising, was ready to die as a martyr in his home country and vowed to quell protests. He said he would “cleanse Libya house by house” if protesters refused to surrender.

According to international organizations, up to 500 people have been killed and up to 4,000 wounded in clashes with government forces since protests against Gaddafi’s regime began on February 15.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy called the violence in Libya “unacceptable,” saying that the crimes could “not to remain without consequences”.

“I condemn the violence, aggression and intimidation against demonstrators in Libya, and call for an immediate end to the use of force. All citizens should have the right to demonstrate freely and peacefully,” he said.

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