ANKARA, Turkey -- Foreigners fled the chaos in Libya by the thousands Wednesday, with Americans and Turks climbing aboard ships, Europeans boarding evacuation flights and North Africans racing to border crossings in overcrowded vans.
Two Turkish ships whisked 3,000 citizens away from the unrest engulfing Libya as Turkey cranked up its largest-ever evacuation, seeking to protect its estimated 25,000 workers in Libya. More than 200 Turkish companies are involved in construction projects in Libya worth over $15 billion, and some construction sites have come under attack by protesters.
The safety of U.S. citizens was a prime concern after failed attempts earlier this week to get them out by plane. But hundreds of Americans safely boarded a 600-passenger ferry at Tripoli's As-shahab port on Wednesday afternoon for the five-hour journey to Malta, a Mediterranean island south of Italy.