Dutch to get Lynx helicopter back from Libya

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The Dutch Ministry of Defence will get back the Lynx helicopter it was forced to abandon on a Libyan beach last year after a botched rescue attempt.

The Lynx is no longer operational, the Ministry said, but it will be salvaged and transported to the Netherlands by sea and then scrapped. It was moved from the coastal town of Sirte to Libya’s capital Tripoli on Monday.

The helicopter was abandoned after its crew were captured on February 27 at Sirte when they tried to rescue a Dutch engineer and another European. They had gone ashore with a helicopter from the frigate HMLMS Tromp stationed off the coast of Libya to help with evacuations from the North African country, the Dutch defence ministry said.

The Dutch Defence Ministry confirmed the operation was carried out without authorisation from Libya, whose soldiers prevented the helicopter from taking off.

The civilians were later handed over to the Dutch embassy in Tripoli and returned to the Netherlands on March 2.

The three marines were released two weeks after being captured, on March 11. “We told them, don’t come back again without our permission. We captured the first NATO soldiers, we are sending them back home. But we are still keeping their helicopter,” Saif al-Islam, Muammar Gaddafi’s son told Reuters at the time.