Saturday, February 28, 2015

18,000 Egyptians have returned home from Libya in past two weeks (Officials)

A plane carrying 313 Egyptians who had been working in Libya arrived in Cairo on Friday from the Tunisian city of Djerba, bringing the total number of Egyptians who have managed to flee the deteriorating security situation in the last two weeks to around 18,000.
Another flight carrying 247 people landed in Cairo earlier on Friday, bringing the total number of Egyptians who have left Libya in the past two weeks to 5,637 over 22 flights, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Around 12,000 to 13,000 Egyptians have returned home via the Salloum border crossing on the eastern Libyan-Egyptian border.

The evacuation of Egyptian nationals has been underway since the killing of 20 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya and Cairo’s airstrikes on the group’s targets that followed.

Hours after the airstrikes on the eastern city of Derna, Islamist milita Fajr Libya, which currently controls the capital Tripoli, called on Egyptian workers to leave the country within 48 hours to avoid revenge attacks,

In recent statements, Egyptian minister of manpower Nahed El-Ashry said no official figures exist of the numbers of Egyptian workers in Libya because large numbers travel illegally to the oil-rich North African country. However, she estimated the number stands between 800,000 and 900,000.

Since the 2011 toppling of autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, rival militias have been fighting a weak central government across the country.

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