Lebanon evacuation continues

Hundreds of Danish citizens escaping the conflict in Lebanon landed at Copenhagen Airport early Wednesday. More are expected to follow

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs put the air bridge established to evacuate Danish citizens from southern Lebanon into high gear Tuesday evening.

A total of eight planes landed at Copenhagen Airport during the night and early Wednesday morning, bringing some 1500 people to safety from escalating violence in the Middle East.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the total number of Danish citizens evacuated from Lebanon could reach 4100.

'Our first numbers were based on the Danes we had registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or embassy office in Beirut. But we had expected the whole time that there were more,' said Jens-Otto Horslund, a department head at the ministry.

Some 400 Danes had originally declined the offer to be evacuated from the area but changed their minds and accepted the ministry's offer of safe refuge.

'As the tension in Lebanon has increased, an increasing number of them have made contact with us,' said Horslund.

The logistics involved in the ministry's evacuation plan were considerable, said Uffe Wolffhechel, head of the ministry's citizen service.

'It's a difficult and complicated operation. It unavoidably appears chaotic, but the most important task is to bring the Danes home.'

He stressed that the evacuation could not have taken place any faster.

'Since the evacuation needed to be safe, it has not been possible to do this faster. We did not want to move people from an unpleasant situation to a directly dangerous one.'

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