CAIRO: The Egyptian Navy and security agencies in Kafr el-Sheikh Wednesday arrested 29 Syrians who they said were attempting to illegally immigrate to European countries through the Mediterranean Sea, Youm7 reported.
The 29 Syrian emigrants were arrested and the prosecution was notified of the incident to carry out investigations.
At least two reported incidents of illegal group immigration attempts took place in September, with most of those involved Syrians.
Youm7 reported that 60 Syrians and Egyptians were arrested in Kafr el-Sheikh Sep. 7, and another 46 people from Syria and Comoros were reported by Al-Dostor newspaper to have been arrested in Beheira governorate after an attempted illegal immigration to Italy.
Frequent detentions of illegal Syrian refugee immigrants attempting to cross from Egypt to Europe have occurred during the last year, especially at the end of 2013. Amnesty International released a statement in October 2013 saying Egypt was “failing to meet international obligations to protect the most vulnerable refugees.”
As of Sept. 1, 2014, the number of refugees in Egypt fleeing the 3-year-old Syrian Civil War reached 139,209, according to statistics available from the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). The agency reported that the number of Syrian refugees in Egypt is expected to reach 160,000 by the end of 2014.
Egypt is also a destination country for refugees and asylum-seekers from countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Palestine.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Soliman