United Nations: More than 2, 50,000 people have fled Libya since violence and revolt erupted against Muammar Gaddafi in mid-February, a UN official said.

More than 1,37,400 have crossed into Tunisia, 1,07,500 to Egypt, 5,400 to Algeria and 2,200 to Niger, said the UN humanitarian coordination spokesman, who was unwilling to give his name.

Large numbers are building up at transit camps on the borders. At Choucha on the Tunisian border, the World Food Programme and the Red Crescent are providing daily meals for 7,000 people and the figure will double in coming days, the spokesman said.

"Medical needs are a major concern, particularly as we are receiving reports of hospital closures at a time when people need medical care. We need nurses, and wounded civilians need to reach these facilities," the official commented.

The United States has promised to unblock another USD 17 million to help refugees flee the unrest in Libya and says it will soon send civilian humanitarian aid teams into the opposition-held east of the country.

But Gaddafi's son on Thursday said that victory was in sight against the rebels fighting his father's iron-fisted regime after loyalist forces retook two key towns and Western powers fretted over how to deal with the civil war.

 

(Agency)