File photo: Italian Navy, AFP I These migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean, but thousands are not so lucky . AFP
The deportees had entered Libya illegally, Mohamad Bardaa, deputy for security affairs at the Directorate of Combatting Illegal Migration, told AFP.
Libya has been a hot spot for migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean for Europe.
After the 2011 NATO-backed revolt that toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Libya was divided between rival authorities based in the east and the west -- with human traffickers benefiting from the situation.
Egypt, which shares a more than 1,000-kilometre-long border with Libya, has stepped up its efforts since 2016 to deal with irregular migration, setting a legislative framework to combat the smuggling of migrants.
In 2016, the country launched its first national strategy to counter the smuggling of migrants and to ensure the protection of vulnerable migrants in Egypt.
It also tightened penalties on whoever commits, attempts, or is involved in the crime of smuggling migrants.