Swedes Evacuated from Lebanon

Some 300 Swedes returned home from Lebanon early Monday after being evacuated by Swedish authorities and thousands more are expected to follow.

A plane carrying 142 Swedes from Damascus landed at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport overnight, followed several hours later by a flight carrying 150 people from Aleppo in Syria.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has estimated that roughly 4,500 Swedes were in Lebanon when the current crisis erupted. A ministry spokeswoman says 1,300 have so far made their way from Lebanon to Syria to be transported home.

Air travel from Beirut was made impossible after the international airport was shut down Thursday when Israeli air strikes gouged large craters in the runways.

The foreign ministry has chartered buses to transport Swedes from Lebanon to Syria. It has also chartered three vessels to sail from Beirut, but negotiations are still underway to guarantee their safe passage.