Tens of thousands of foreigners fled fighting in Lebanon and a cruise ship carrying about 1,000 Americans arrived in nearby Cyprus Thursday as a massive evacuation operation by air, sea and road swung into top gear. The Canadian prime minister arrived in Cyprus from Paris to pick up evacuees on his jet.
Denmark evacuated more than 4,000 of its citizens Wednesday and a cruise liner evacuated more than 1,000 Americans from Beirut to nearby Larnaca, Cyprus. Germany evacuated 2,300 of it's citizens by bus to Syria where they would be flown out on charter flights, bringing the total evacuated so far to 3,000.
With fighting between IDF troops and Hizuollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon escalating, French President Jacques Chirac urged Israel to allow for "humanitarian corridors" in Lebanon to keep people safe from airstrikes as they flee the country.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived at Larnaca airport just after midnight locally in his military Airbus A310 to pick up 120 evacuees from Lebanon and fly them home.
Ambra Dickie, a spokeswoman for Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry, confirmed that the first ship with 261 Canadians on board had left Beirut and was headed for Cyprus, due to arrive in the early hours on Thursday.