WW2 mine injures 8 Egyptian immigrants near Libyan border

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Oct 2014

The victims were trying to illegally enter neighbouring Libya when a land mine blew up near their car

Display of mines planted by the Europeans during the Second World War and extracted by the Egyptian Army from Al-Alamein, Egypt, during the past years, October, 25, 2014. (Photo: Waad Ahmed)

Eight Egyptians were injured on Monday when a land mine ripped through their vehicle near the Libyan border, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

The men were reportedly attempting to illegally immigrate to neighbouring Libya when the explosion hit their car in the southern part of Siwa Oasis, some 50km east of the Libyan border.

Al-Ahram said the mine is a remnant from World War II.

The victims, escorted by border guards, were transferred to a hospital in the Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh. Military prosecutors will be investigating the incident.

Libya had long been a main destination for Egyptian migrants seeking job opportunities, mostly due to the country's geographical proximity and open border policies.

But the Egyptian government has repeatedly warned in recent months against any travel to Libya as extreme violence and deadly militia rivalries have worsened in recent months.

In August, thousands of Egyptians trying to flee the strife-torn country were airlifted home, leaving their belongings behind.

Egyptian army and border guards arrest dozens of illegal migrants attempting to infiltrate the neighbouring state through Egypt's borders every month.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya up until the ongoing unrest that began following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled autocrat Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The number of Egyptian expats has sharply dwindled since.

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