By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

THE Philippine Embassy in Libya has raised the Philippine flag to prevent military forces from being mistakenly targeted by airstrikes.

“With more and more airstrikes in and around Tripoli, we wanted to make sure that [the Philippine Embassy in Libya] will not be targeted by mistake by making it clearly identifiable from the air as a diplomatic mission — one of several that remain open in [the] Libyan capital,” Charge d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said in a social media post, Thursday.

Mr. Cato also disclosed the Embassy has within its custody 13 Filipino nurses, while over 40 others have taken refuge in the homes of friends and relatives.

The Embassy is “providing shelter to 13 Filipino nurses who fled the fierce fighting in the southern outskirts of Tripoli this afternoon,” Mr. Cato said.

“More than 40 other nurses and their dependents also evacuated and are now staying with friends and relatives.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday announced it has elevated the alert level in Tripoli to level 4 from 3 in Tripoli and surrounding areas within 100 kilometers, after fighting since last month over the state capital.

The current alert level requires government agencies in the area to undertake mandatory evacuation, but while this is the case, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said he will not compel over 1,000 Filipinos affected. He, however, directed the DFA to closely monitor the safety of Filipinos there.