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Malaysia to evacuate students from Egypt: official

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) flanked by his deputy Muhyiudding Yassin (2nd R) arrives to welcome Malaysian students studying in Egypt at the VVIP terminal in Kuala Lumpur on February 7, 2011. Malaysia will begin evacuating its 3,300 students from Egypt beginning Tuesday night after days of deadly clashes that have killed nearly 900 people, according to a government official. (AFP/File)

Malaysia will begin evacuating its 3,300 students from Egypt beginning Tuesday night after days of deadly clashes that have killed nearly 900 people, according to a government official.

The official, speaking to AFP on the condition of anonymity, said the decision was made after assessing the ongoing assault on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi

"They (the government) decided it's best to bring them back," he said, adding that the students would be evacuated on commercial flights to neighbouring countries.

Local media also quoted Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying that a team of Malaysian security advisers in Cairo had recommended an immediate evacuation of students as the situation was becoming increasingly uncertain.

"From tonight, we will be booking tickets on commercial flights via Oman and Istanbul, among other destinations, to bring our students home," Najib was reported to have said by The Malay Mail Online.

Malaysia previously deployed military aircraft to evacuate thousands of its nationals out of Egypt when popular unrest ousted then President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt two years ago.