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Finns Evacuated from Lebanon

Many Finns who were bussed into Damascus Monday have arrived safely in Copenhagen. Nineteen of them arrived in Helsinki on Tuesday.

The ferry route is considered safer than going by road to Damascus, since Israeli forces have guaranteed safe passage through their naval blockade of Lebanon.

Before being evacuated, one Finn, Philip Rosenberg spoke with the Finnish News Agency on Wednesday:

"It was hard going yesterday, with rockets landing just 500 metres away from where we were staying. Now we’re at the port waiting on the boat."

A French ship which was supposed to have places on board for 400 other EU citizens ended up changing its plans. It took only French and U.S. citizens, and two Finnish families who had made it on board were escorted off. France had earlier promised 20 places for Finns on this ship.

The number of Finns wanting to leave Lebanon is growing. With no end in sight for cross-border bombings, 160 Finns have now requested evacuation from the country.

Finland's ambassador to Syria says that many have already arranged to leave on their own, and everyone else still in the country will be offered help if they choose to leave.

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