CAIRO: An estimated 49 persons were arrested Sunday while attempting to illegally cross into Libya through the desert routes near the borders in Sallum with Egypt, reported Youm7.
The Matrouh Security Directorate announced that Sallum Police Station arrested 37 Egyptians, six Sudanese and six Bengalis, and they are all under investigation.
El-Anani Hamouda, Matrouh Security Director, said that there is an ongoing intensive operation along the border with Libya to prevent any infiltration or illegal immigration.
In January, 42 Egyptians and two Sudanese were arrested at the border for the same reasons.
Some 124 Egyptians arrived from Libya through the crossing on Sunday. The border has received thousands of Egyptians fleeing security and political turmoil in Libya following the beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts in Libya’s Sirte in February.
Since then, the government has announced concerted efforts to facilitate the return of Egyptians to their country, and hence, it exempted the arrivals from paying entry fees at the border until the crisis ends.
The total number of arrivals since Feb. 16 reached 32, 828 Egyptians.
In coordination with EgyptAir Company, the government has also been operating daily flights to repatriate hundreds of Egyptians who have fled Libya into Tunisia or Algeria.
The oil-rich country has witnessed a security vacuum due to the current conflict between Libyan Islamist rivals and military forces, as well as the Islamic State group claiming the seizure of swaths of the country.