CAIRO: Some 196 Egyptians, who fled from conflict-torn Libya to neighboring Tunisia, have arrived in Cairo airport Saturday morning on board an EgyptAir plane, Youm7 reported.
Upon arrival to Cairo airport, Mohamed Abdel Azim, an Egyptian wall painter who was working in the Libyan town of Tarhuna, 65 kilometers to the southeast of Tripoli, has told Youm7 that his 7-day trip from Tarhuna to the Libya-Tunisian borderline was “extremely catastrophic.”
“Our trip was a tough and dangerous. Members of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Derna cities detained me and 27 other Egyptians at gunpoint and we were taken to the area of Wadi al-Rabiah where we were forced to work without pay,” Abdel Azim told Youm7.
“During our five-day detention, we were ordered to build rooms and trenches for the Ansar al-Sharia militants, who delivered us to the Libyan authority of illegal migration before we were escorted to Ras Jedir checkpoint,” he added.
The flight was the first of EgyptAir’s air-bridge to transport Egyptian nationals arriving to Djerba Airport in Tunisia through the Ras Jedir checkpoint on the Libyan-Tunisian borders, said Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal.
“The company has designated four planes to work around the clock to transport 4,000 Egyptians evacuating from Libya and the number of the daily flights is determined in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and according to the number of Egyptians present in Djerba,” Kamal was quoted by Youm7.
Last Monday, Egyptian authorities enforced a travel ban to Libya the day after the IS group released a video if the beheading of 21 Egyptians. Cairo has also called on Egyptian nationals in Libya to confine themselves to their areas of residence and not to move in groups
In response to the beheading, Egypt launched airstrikes that targeted training sites and weapons and ammunition storage sites belonging to IS group in the Libyan city of Derna.