More than 25,000 Egyptians returned home from Libya in past 2 weeks: Officials

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Feb 2015

The latest batch of Egyptians landed from a Djerba-Cairo bound trip Monday night bringing up number of fleeing Egyptians through the air to 5637

Feb. 18, 2015 file photo, Egyptians wait to leave a detention center for illegal immigrants east of the city of Misrata, Libya during their deportation back to Egypt (Photo: AP)

A plane carrying 313 Egyptians who had been working in Libya arrived in Cairo on Friday from the Tunisian city of Djerba near the western Libyan border.

Another flight carrying 247 people landed in Cairo earlier on Friday, bringing the total number of Egyptians who have left Libya by plane in the past two weeks to 5,637 over 22 flights, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

More than 22,000 Egyptians have also returned home via the Salloum border crossing on the eastern Libyan-Egyptian border, according to MENA.

This puts the total number of Egyptians who have managed to flee the deteriorating security situation in the last two weeks at over 25,000.

The evacuation of Egyptian nationals has been underway since the killing of 20 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya and Cairo’s airstrikes on the group’s targets that followed.

Hours after the airstrikes on the eastern city of Derna, Islamist coalition Fajr Libyan, which currently controls the capital, Tripoli, called on Egyptian workers to leave the country within 48 hours to avoid revenge attacks,

Egyptian minister of manpower Nahed El-Ashry has said recently no official figures exist of the numbers of Egyptian working in Libya since large numbers travel illegally to the oil-rich North African country. However, she estimated the number of Egyptians in Libya stands between 800,000 and 900,000.

Since the 2011 toppling of autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, rival militias have been fighting a weak central government across the country.

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