CAIRO: About 7000 Egyptian workers residing in Libya fled to Salloum land port after escalated violence took place in Libyan cities, a security source at the port told Youm7 Thursday.
Since the beginning of the intensified fighting between rival militias and Special Forces over the last two weeks in Tripoli, wide evacuations of Egyptian nationals living in Libya took place after the Egyptian Foreign Ministry urged so in a statement.
As evacuations of Egyptian workers from Libya started within the last ten days, there are excessive efforts at borders to prevent the entrance of any dangerous materials, where the source added that “about 300 individuals were captured after attempting to illegally enter the country.”
Egyptians returning from Libya fall into three categories; people having legal travel papers and are allowed to enter the Salloum Port, those who do not have proof that they legally left the country, whereas they are presented before prosecution and then released after paying a fine; while the third category is for people who fear returning through the Salloum Port and therefore try to sneak in with the help of smugglers and most of them are eventually arrested by border guards.
As reported by Youm7, some of the returning workers said that the situation in Libya is “very dangerous” and the explosions and fire shots take place on a daily basis.
There is ongoing coordination between the Egyptian and Tunisian authorities to help Egyptian nationals escaping from the fierce Libyan violence to Tunisia, to return home safe.
An Egyptair “Boeing 777-200″ aircraft headed Wednesday to Djerba Zarzis International Airport in Tunisia to evacuate hundreds of stranded Egyptians and another flight is to depart Thursday to bring more trapped Egyptians.
Media reports claiming a few days ago that 23 Egyptian nationals were killed in a Saturday rocket attack on a house in Southern Tripoli were denied by the Libyan Interior Ministry in an official Monday statement.
As reported Monday by Reuters, two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other’s positions with grad rockets and artillery fire for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield. The airport was shut down and flights have been halted.
A number of diplomats and missions have been evacuated from Libya and many countries have issued travel warnings to Libya.
Additional Reporting by Hassan Mashaly.