Updated: Adds details
The Maltese government said this afternoon it was formally advising all Maltese to leave Tripoli today on Virtu' catamarans currently waiting at Tripoli harbour. They will cast off at 6 p.m. (Malta time).
Air Malta's flight to Tripoli late this morning was cancelled as the situation around the airport deteriorated.
The airline said it regretted any inconvenience to its passengers however the decision has been taken in the best interest of the safety of its passengers and crew.
"Air Malta will continue to assess the situation and will resume its operations when it will be considered to be safe enough to do so."
Fighting has been reported in several parts of the capital and many embassies have closed down although Malta's embassy remains open.
The Malta government helpline can be reached on 8007 2203.
Martin Bugelli, Director-General of Information said that 52 Maltese remained in Libya of whom 23 were in Tripoli. 11 are already at the harbour. Malta is working with other countries on the evacuation of the Maltese who are not in the Tripoli area.
Malta on its part has provided logistical support to 53 countries wishing to evacuate their nationals from Libya.
Some 1,600 of the 2,200 Chinese who arrived in Malta this morning are expected to be put on flights home by tonight. 90 of the 250 Britons who arrived on a British frigate are already on their way back. The rest are taking a break here.
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