Chinese navy ships sent to rescue citizens from conflict-hit Sudan have also evacuated nationals from five other countries, the foreign ministry in Beijing said on Thursday. Multiple nations have scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and citizens by road, air and sea from Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries has killed hundreds and led to acute shortages of water, food, medicines and fuel. Rescue operations have intensified since a 72-hour ceasefire took effect on Tuesday. But some fighting was reported around Sudan on Thursday, as well as air strikes in the capital Khartoum. “So far, more than 1,300 Chinese citizens have been safely evacuated,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said. She said many had left Sudan on board Chinese naval vessels. “We have helped citizens of five countries to evacuate Sudan on Chinese ships,” Mao said. “Other countries have also asked for China’s assistance in evacuation.” China has deployed the guided missile destroyer Nanning and another supply ship with 490 military personnel on board to assist with the evacuation, state broadcaster CCTV reported. A video clip released by the Chinese navy shows an officer boarding a vessel carrying a toddler and other evacuees waving Chinese flags. The first batch of 678 people evacuated by the Chinese team arrived safely at a port in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by ship on Thursday morning, CCTV said. China says it is Sudan’s largest trading partner, with more than 130 companies investing thereby mid-2022. The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday it estimated about 1,500 of its nationals were in Sudan. More than 300 Chinese nationals have crossed over to countries bordering Sudan by land, Mao said on Wednesday. The fighting has killed at least 512 people and wounded more than 4,000, according to Sudan’s health ministry, and reduced some districts of greater Khartoum to ruins. UN agencies reported Sudanese civilians fleeing the fighting to countries including Chad, Egypt and South Sudan. With Khartoum’s international airport disabled after battles that damaged many aircraft, groups of foreigners have been airlifted out from smaller airstrips. Other evacuations were taking place from Port Sudan, an 850-kilometre (530-mile) drive from Khartoum. An Indonesian military plane flew 110 Indonesian nationals from Port Sudan to Jeddah on Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Jakarta said on Thursday. It brought to 667 the total number of Indonesians evacuated from Sudan since the conflict began.