The International Organization for Migration says a ship chartered to rescue foreigners trapped in Tripoli has left the Libyan capital for Benghazi with more than 200 people on board.
A spokeswoman for the group says the passengers include Filipino, Egyptian, Algerian, Canadian, Moroccan, Italian and German nationals.
The ship's arrival in Tripoli had been delayed by continued fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi
International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Jemini Pandya told The Associated Press late Thursday that it had been "an extremely challenging and stressful operation, but the team is in high spirits now.
The Geneva-based group estimates that thousands of foreigners are trying to escape Tripoli.