The Philippine government has imposed a total ban on Filipinos working in Libya due to the escalation of violence in the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced a Level 3 Alert in Libya because of the violence in the North African state. Under that category, a ban is imposed on new workers being sent to the country and Filipino migrant workers are urged to be repatriated to their homeland, The Filipino Times reported.

The Department of Labor and Employment imposed a deployment ban on Filipino workers due to the Libyan alert.

Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras advised Filipinos stranded in Libya to immediately seek assistance from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to get sent home.

“If there is an Alert Level 3 from the DFA, an automatic deployment ban is imposed. If we will allow Filipinos to leave [to work in Libya], we would just be exposing them to danger,” Paras said.

The alert level was raised after several Filipino migrant workers were reportedly kidnapped.

In July, three Filipino engineers and a South Korean man were kidnapped by armed men while working at a water plant in southeastern Libya.

A new ceasefire was announced on Wednesday to end a month of deadly fighting near the capital Tripoli. But the country has suffered great turmoil since late 2011 when its leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed.

Two rival authorities and a multitude of militias are vying for control of the oil-rich country, AFP reported.

Tripoli is the seat of the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj. But a parallel government operates out of the country’s east, backed by the self-styled Libyan National Army of military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

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