CAIRO: A ship with 250 Egyptian passengers on board has departed the Tunisian Port of Zarzis Friday for a four-day trip to Alexandria Port in Egypt, after the Egyptian nationals fled Libya due to rampant militant activity, MENA reported.
The ship, Aida 4, was dispatched by the Egyptian Ministry of Maritime Transport to assist EgyptAir in evacuating the thousands of Egyptians stranded at the Tunisian-Libyan borders.
Two of sevenround-trip EgyptAir flights scheduled to take off Friday have arrived fromQabes Airport in Tunisia to Cairo Airport, bringing home 581 Egyptians fleeing unrest in Libya, Civil Aviation Minister Captain Hossam Kamal said in a Friday statement.
EgyptAir has evacuated over 9,500 Egyptian stranded at the Tunisian-Libyan borders during a 9-day period, and will continue to dispatch flights Saturday, Kamal added.
“An estimation of 5,000 to 10,000 Egyptians are stranded at RasJdir Tunisian-Libyan border crossing after fleeing their homes in Libya after two weeks of clashes between rivaling Libyan militias,” Minister of Foreign Affairs SamehShoukry said at a Tuesday press conference after meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.
Oil-rich Libya is one of the most Arab countries hosting Egyptian manpower. A group of Egyptians attempted to storm across the border with Libya on Aug. 1 after a long wait at the RasJdir crossing, but Tunisian guards shot into the air and fired tear gas bombs to stop them, according to Reuters.
On July 31, Libyan guards killed two Egyptians on the Libyan side of the borders as they tried to cross into Tunisia.
Egypt sent 5,000 tons of food supplies to Egyptians stranded at the RasJdir crossing Monday, according to Egyptian military spokesperson Mohamed Samir.