Report: 650,000 have fled Libya in last 45 days

The total number of refugees fleeing Libya's turmoil has reached more than 650,000 over the past 45 days, according to an international report released Tuesday.

The International Organization for Migration report said the number of people leaving Libya for Egypt stood at 205,000, including 123,000 Egyptians and 82,000 of other nationalities.

During the same period, 282,000 fled to Tunisia, 202,000 of whom were Tunisians.

Niger received the third-largest number of refugees: 77,000; most were Nigerien citizens.

Meanwhile, 14,000 people fled to Algeria; 48,000 to Chad; 21,000 to Italy; 2800 to Sudan and 1500 to Malta.

On Friday, Italy urged NATO to help rescue refugees fleeing Libya by sea.

Italian press reports say scores of Libyan refugees who fled the country by sea have usually drowned, because they have been using shabby boats to cross to the Italian coast.

An ongoing armed conflict has raged in Libya since February, between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi and rebel forces.

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