CAIRO: The Sallum Crossing, located at Egypt’s western borders, continues to receive Egyptians fleeing the security vacuum in war-torn Libya; some 204 have arrived at the crossing within the past 24 hours, Youm7 reported Saturday.
The oil-rich country, which has been dragged into turmoil since 2011, is witnessing a deteriorating security situation amid Islamist militants controlling swaths of territory.
In mid-February, 20 Egyptian nationals were beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya, and the group released a video of the murders. The Egyptian government responded with airstrikes against suspected militant bases in Libya’s Derna.
Fearing escalation, Egyptian nationals in Libya were prompted to leave the country and return to Egypt per plans set by the government to facilitate their return.
Until April 9, official numbers said that the 36, 511 Egyptians have arrived through the Sallum border since the crisis began. All arrivals were exempted of entry fees per a February decision by the government.
Furthermore, Egypt has been operating daily flights from Tunisia and Algeria, carrying Egyptians who cross into both countries’ borders with Libya. Ongoing coordination between Egyptian authorities and their Tunisian and Algerian counterparts has been announced to ease the returnees’ procedures.
Egyptian arrivals via air hit 12,480 as of April 1, according to DPA.
Additional reporting by Hassan Mashaly