Around 500 Bangladeshis working for different South Korean companies in Libya may return home soon as the employers have started evacuating them from the strife-torn country, according to an official at the Bangladesh mission in Tripoli.
Daewoo Engineering and Construction (Daewoo E & C), a South Korean company, has already granted 169 Bangladeshis six months' leave without pay and they are now waiting to return home, said Ahsan Kibria Siddique, first secretary of the mission.
“The Korean companies have started evacuating their workers from Libya due to security risks in workplaces,” he said.
At least five Bangladeshis were killed in clashes between government forces and rebels in the North African country on Tuesday and Wednesday, taking the death toll of Bangladeshis in Libya to 13 since February this year.
"The embassy is facing difficulty in sending the bodies back to Bangladesh as the conflict zones are close to the airport," said Kibria.
According to a report published yesterday by Yonhap News Agency of South Korea, many foreign nationals including Bangladeshis work for some 30 large and small Korean companies in the oil-rich country. A good number of workers from these companies have already left, the agency mentioned.
Meanwhile, the South Korean embassy in Dhaka offered help for Bangladeshi workers of Korean companies in Libya to return home, said Khondaker Showkat Hossain, secretary to the expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry.
Kibria, however, said he had received no information about any Bangladeshi returning home yet.
Currently, 45,000 Bangladeshis are working in different sectors in Libya. The Bangladeshi mission in Tripoli has advised all workers to remain alert and avoid conflict zones.