CAIRO: A total of 339 people, including four human traffickers were arrested Monday while attempting to illegally travel to Libya through Egypt’s Western Desert towns of Sallum, Siwa and Matrouh, Youm7 reported.
In Sallum, 225 Egyptians and two Sudanese nationals were arrested. At least 125 of the Egyptians arrested were from Upper Egypt; the most deprived region in the country.
Fifty-nine illegal migrants were from Fayoum governorate, 100 kilometers southwest of Cairo while 39 were from the Delta and two from Giza.
In Siwa, 53 Egyptians were arrested; 32 from Fayoum, 20 from Upper Egypt and one from the Delta.
Furthermore, four human traffickers, operating on the Egyptian-Libyan borders, were arrested Monday along with 13 Egyptian workers while attempting to illegally travel to Libya.
The four men, 42, 31, 29 and 29, were paid 6,000 EGP ($760) from each migrant to help infiltrating into Libya in two vehicles through informal desert routes.
The 13 workers, arrested in Sidi Barrany town of Matrouh, include 11 from Fayoum, one from Cairo and one from Giza.
Meanwhile, 22 illegal migrants to Libya were injured Monday in a road accident took place between Sidi Barrany and Sallum.
The group’s vehicle flipped over during a police pursuit. Fifteen of those injured needed medical assistance and were transferred to Matrouh Public Hospital.
Despite hundreds of Egyptians fleeing the war-torn Libya through the Sallum border, many others still attempt to enter the oil-rich country in search for work.
For decades, Libya has been one of the largest destinations for Egyptian laborers who seek a larger income
Additional reporting by Hassan Mashaly.