CAIRO: Cairo International Airport received Friday some 134 Egyptian nationals fleeing the security turmoil in Libya after Islamist factions seized swaths of the oil-rich country, Youm7 reported.
The passengers were onboard of an Egypt Air flight arrived from Djerba in Tunisia where Egyptian expatriates located in west Libya are transferred after arriving at the Ras Ajadir border crossing between Libya and Tunisia.
The flow of Egyptian nationals in Libya returning back to Egypt has increased after the beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts was caught on a video released in Feb 15.
The murder was carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya’s city of Sirte. Since then, the Egyptian government has announced concerted efforts to facilitate the return of Egyptian nationals back to their country amid prevailing security vacuum.
Coordination between Egypt and authorities in Tunisia and Algeria was announced in order to ease the return of the Egyptians through the borders of both countries with Libya.
The fleeing Egyptians arrive back either via air or the Sallum border crossing.
The government, in coordination with Egypt Air, has been operating daily flights to transfer hundreds of Egyptians who have fled Libya into Tunisia or Algeria. The latest update on number of arrivals via air has reached 11,500, according to AFP.
Over 30,000 other Egyptians arrived through the Sallum border since the outbreak of the Libyan crisis in mid-February. Arrivals through the crossing are exempted from entry fees per a decision by the government until the end of the crisis.
On the other hand, there is an ongoing intensive operation along the border with Libya to prevent any infiltration or illegal immigration; a number of Egyptians and foreigners were arrested while attempting to illegally cross into Libya.