Foreign workers in Libya continued to seek safety in camps and at the borders Monday, as a tense standoff in Tripoli between protesters and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi showed no signs of easing.

British military aircraft flew two missions over the weekend to rescue workers stranded at oil installations in the Libyan desert, Reuters reported. Prime Minister David Cameron said one of the aircraft suffered minor damage from small arms fire on the second mission.

German planes were also reported to have evacuated EU citizens Saturday in a secret military mission later disclosed by the country's Foreign Ministry. And ferries have continued to be a popular means of escape.


Chinese nationals line the decks of the Grimaldi ferry Cruise Roma after it berthed in Valletta's Grand Harbour on Saturday. Aboard and fleeing Benghazi were 2,216 Chinese. (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Malta's Grand Harbour has been one of the busiest destinations, according to the Tripoli Post's website. Since Wednesday, two Malta-based ferries have made a number of trips to get foreign workers wanting out of Libya.

The U.K.'s HMS Cumberland has been used to evacuate mostly British personnel, the paper said, while two Italian cruise ships carried 4,000 Chinese workers to Malta from the eastern Libyan port of Benghazi.

To the east of Tripoli, the CBC's Carolyn Dunn, reporting Monday from the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, was at one camp for internally displaced people where 10 volunteer Libyans were trying to tend to the needs of 2,200 workers originally from places such as Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan and India.

Streaming across Tunisia border

"Neither their countries nor their companies seem to have any intention of moving them, so at this point the Libyans are just taking them into their fold," Dunn said.

And to the west of Tripoli, across the border in Tunisia, the CBC's Adrienne Arseneault said tens of thousands of people, mostly Egyptian workers, were streaming into the country. The workers line the roads just inside the Tunisian border, but there is no adequate infrastructure to help them.

"It started with ordinary Tunisians driving up here in their pickup trucks full of fresh bread to hand out," Arsenault said. "They quickly realized that for all their good intentions, they cannot deal with this level of crisis."

Canada's Foreign Affairs Department said the total number of Canadians evacuated from Libya, including some who left since the prime minister's speech Monday night, now stands at 255. The Canadians who left overnight did not do so on Canadian planes, the department said.

Malta singled out for praise

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi of Malta said Sunday that since the crisis in Libya began, his country has hosted more than 8,000 foreign workers of 89 nationalities.

On Sunday, Gonzi met personnel manning the reception points set up at Grand Harbour as the Italian-operated ship SNAV Toscana landed with about 2,000 workers on board.

The evacuees from about 30 different countries — but predominantly Brazilian — crowded the ship’s decks waving flags and cheering as the vessel entered the harbour, the Malta Independent Online reported.

In Britain's Parliament on Monday, Cameron singled out Malta for praise for its handling of refugees, saying he had personally called Gonzi to thank him.

With files from The Associated Press