Navy ships remain on high alert near Libya

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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ROYAL Navy warships are to remain on high alert near Libya as the crisis in the country continues.

HMS Cumberland, which arrived in Malta yesterday with a further 200 evacuees from Libya, will stay in the Mediterranean for the time being, the navy said.

The ship, which was meant to be returning home to be decommissioned, is joined by Portsmouth-based destroyer HMS York. York was on her way to a five-month deployment in the South Atlantic when she was ordered to go to the area.

The revolution against Colonel Gaddafi’s regime has seen 105,000 refugees flee the country in the last week and an estimated 2,000 people killed.

World leaders have condemned the violence. Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday urged Col Gaddafi to ‘go now’.

A navy spokesman confirmed York and Cumberland will remain in the Mediterranean. He said: ‘They will not go far until the situation calms down.’

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