CAIRO: “All the extremist groups returning from Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and various parts of the world found safety in Libya to practice their terrorist acts and a pathway to smuggle weapons into Egypt,” former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said Sunday evening during an interview on Dream channel.
Zeidan said these extremist groups are using Libya to supply their allies around the Middle East, such as Egypt and Tunisia, with weapons. He emphasized that such an act threatens Libya’s security and stability.
“These extremist groups threaten Egyptians who represented the June 30 Demonstraiton,” Zeidan said. “The extremist groups stationed in Libya is now smuggling weapons and extremist elements into Egypt in attempt to get what they have lost in it.” He added that decisive action needs to be taken against them as to eliminate “terrorism.”
“Libya will turn into a battlefield against Egypt if no measures are taken by the Libyan and Egyptian government,” Zeidan warned.
Libya witnessed a notable security lapse since the anti-Muammar Qadhafi uprising early 2011. Egyptian armed forces then intensified its presence on its border with Libya to prevent the infiltration of violence as well as to confront smuggling of arms and weapons into Egypt.
After Qadhafi was killed in October 2011, Libya witnessed instability with firearms in the hands of several militias that are divided along regional, tribal, and political lines.
Tension between both countries has been on the rise recently in light of a string of killings and kidnappings targeting Egyptian nationals living in Libya. During the past few months, Egyptian expatriates in Libya have been targeted by various political and revolutionary forces.