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    Libya: two AI flights bring 540 Indians back

    New Delhi: Mohd Sali, 63, the first man to walk out of Air India's special flight from Libya in Delhi. He had a horrific story to tell.

    Sali recolelcted, "One man came and put the knife on my neck like this. He took all my belongings - laptop, chain, even my car. We heard gunshots every day. I went under a container and stayed there. Somehow we managed to escape."

    There were similar stories from the over 500 Indian citizens - among the first to be evacuated by the Indian government from Libya. All of them remembering the last few days there, when they were not even sure whether they would be alive the next day.

    Dr Sajjan Lal said, "They have to be evacuated. People who live far away have problems - they have no water or food."

    Indian authorities have now got permission to operate two flights every day for the next 12 days to bring back Indians stranded in Libya. The rest, they say will be brought back by ship.

    These people witnessed riots, looting, even murder. They have left behind their homes, their assets and jobs back in Libya a country they all went to hoping to make a better life in. But now as they return to India, they say, even if the situation gets better, there is no going back.

    It is a happy homecoming for the first few hundred who have been successfully evacuated from Libya. But with a contingent as large as 18000 citizens still stuck there, the task the authorities have, is not going to be an easy one.