A Maltese ship which was due to evacuate foreign nationals from Tripoli on Sunday came under fire and was forced to retreat to sea, Poland's foreign ministry said.
"The Maltese boat MV Triva 1 which was due to evacuate foreign nationals from Libya was unable to enter the port of Tripoli on Sunday morning. It was swept by gunfire and it returned to its anchorage," ministry spokeswoman Paulina Kapuscinska told AFP.
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"Discussions are continuing with the rebels to allow the ship to enter the port and safely evacuate the foreigners," she said.
A Polish woman and her three children are among those awaiting evacuation from the Libyan capital, which has come under attack from rebel forces seeking to topple Moamer Kadhafi.
Britain said up to nine British nationals were allocated places and other nationalities were also waiting to board the vessel.