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Filipinos safe in Libya despite ‘horrifying’ violence – priest

MANILA, August 24, 2011— The civil war in Libya has remained horrifying but overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there are safe, a Filipino Catholic priest said.

Fr. Amado Baranquel, Caritas director in Tripoli, said Filipinos are marooned inside their homes for three days now because of the fighting between the rebels and government forces.

Baranquel told Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas Wednesday that the violence in Libya has exacerbated even if rebels have claimed victory at Moammar Gadhafi's main military compound in Tripoli.

“We are appealing for prayers for a speedy transformation of the situation here,” he said, assuring that Filipinos have remained “safe in their work places.”

“(But) the sounds of fighting and firing are so horrifying,” Baranquel said.

The priest of San Francisco Parish Church in Tripoli also claimed that the rebels are now “almost in control” of the situation but there are still sporadic resistance from loyalists of Gadhafi’s regime.

In the streets, he said, explosions and gunfire continued to ring out, although it was unclear whether it was a result of celebrations or continued skirmishes.

“So it is really very dangerous to go out,” Baranquel said. [CBCPNews]