285 Egyptians return home from conflict-stricken Libya

Ahram Online , Saturday 14 Mar 2015

Saturday's flight via EgyptAir raises the number of Egyptians returning to Cairo since mid-February to 11,163

Egyptians cross from Libya to Egypt
Egyptians cross from Libya to Egypt through the Salloum land port gate on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 (Photo: AP)

A total of 285 Egyptians landed in Cairo Saturday from conflict-stricken Libya, the last batch since Egypt launched airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) militant group targets in Derna.

This raises the number of Egyptians returning to Cairo since mid-February via EgyptAir flights to 11,163, Reuters’ Aswat Masriya reported.

In February, Egypt launched airstrikes against IS militant positions in Libya’s Derna, in collaboration with Libya’s government. The strikes came in retaliation for the beheadings by IS militants of 20 Coptic Egyptians.

Since then, Egypt has drawn up evacuation plans for Egyptian citizens in Libya who wish to leave the war-torn country.

In recent statements, Egyptian Minister of Manpower Nahed Al-Ashry said no official number exists of Egyptian workers in Libya because large numbers travel illegally to the oil-rich North African country. However, she estimated the number stands between 800,000 and 900,000.

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

Instability in Libya earlier prompted many Egyptian workers to return to Egypt, though many others remained.

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