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Philippine nurses refuse to leave hospitals in Libya

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    Five-year-old Libyan boy Mohammed Achmed is treated by a doctor in the Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, eastern Libya, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Mohammed received bullet wounds to his chest early Saturday as fighting broke out in Benghazi. He was with his mother who also received bullet wounds. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

MANILA, Philippines >> President Benigno Aquino III says at least 2,000 Filipino workers have refused to leave strife-torn Libya. The workers are mostly nurses and hospital personnel.

Aquino said Monday that Filipino diplomats have made a final plea to Filipinos to leave the besieged North African nation after allied forces started launching strikes to enforce a no-fly zone and prevent Libyan Moammar Gadhafi’s forces from attacking civilians.

About 14,000 Filipinos have evacuated from Libya with the help of the Philippine government and their employers.

Aquino says it has become difficult to find a ferry, including those from Europe, that will agree to ferry Filipinos out of Libya due to security concerns.

The Philippines is one of the world’s largest labor exporters. 

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