Egypt arrests 100 illegal migrants near Libya

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Dec 2014

One hundred were arrested Saturday while attempting to enter Libya illegally — the latest in frequent flows of illegal migrants to the North African state

Egypt's army and border guards arrested Saturday 100 illegal migrants attempting to enter Libya through Egypt's western frontier, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

The arrested, who include five Sudanese, were caught while passing through mountainous valleys near Egypt's northwestern border city of Salloum.

They are also accused of trespassing on an off-limits military area. Investigations by military prosecutors are underway.

Egyptian authorities arrest dozens every week near the border.

Despite growing unrest since the toppling of longtime autocrat Mummar Gaddafi, Libya is still a destination for Egyptian migrant workers, mostly due to geographical proximity and the low cost of travel documents.

In a September report, the International Organisation for Migration estimated that up to one million Egyptians remain in Libya — predominantly from rural areas and Lower Egypt — meaning almost 16 percent of a total population in Libya of 6.2 million.

Egypt's Ministry of Manpower and Migration, however, puts the number at a tenth of that figure.

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