CAIRO: Some 134 Egyptians arrived Wednesday at the Cairo International Airport arriving from Libya; the number of air arrivals since mid-February has now reached 12,480, DPA reported.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been operating daily flights to return Egyptians since mid-February, when a video showing the beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts in Libya’s Sirte was released Feb. 15 by a Libyan branch of the Islamic State group.
Egypt responded to the murders by launching air strikes against IS targets in Libya.
Since then, around 57 flights carrying Egyptians fleeing the security vacuum prevailing in Libya, of which many areas are controlled by Islamist militias.
Egypt is coordinating with Tunisia and Algeria to receive Egyptians through the borders between the two countries and Libya.
The fleeing Egyptians have also another route to return back to their country, which is through the Sallum land crossing. To facilitate the arrivals’ process, the government announced it would exempt the returning Egyptians from entry fees until the end of the crisis.
So far, the border has received 34,614 Egyptians, according to Youm7.
Flights between Egypt and Yemen were halted after the security situation declined in Yemen, and the beginning of Saudi-led operation Resolute Storm in the country against the Iran-backed Houthis, which took over the capital of Sanaa in January.
Egypt is currently studying implementing an air bridge with both Saudi Arabia and Oman to transport Egyptian nationals stranded in Yemen.
Additional reporting by Hassan Mashaly