Egypt renews travel warning on Libya

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Apr 2015

Egypt's foreign ministry has reissued calls for Egyptians to avoid conflict-ridden Libya, where kidnappings and killings have targeted expatriates

File Photo: Smoke rises near buildings after heavy fighting between rival militias broke out near the airport in Tripoli July 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt has renewed calls on its citizens to avoid travel to Libya as the security situation remains dangerous in the country. ­

The foreign ministry also called on Egyptian expatriates in Libya to stay away from conflict-stricken areas.

On Monday, Egyptian director Mohamed Galal Okasha, 31, who worked at the Libyan TV station Barqa and was kidnapped in August 2014, was confirmed dead.

In February, the Islamic State group in Libya beheaded 20 Coptic Egyptian migrant workers near Derna.

The Egyptian government has facilitated the evacuation of Egyptians home since the deadly incident that was broadcast online in a video.

Many Egyptians, meanwhile, have been kidnapped by militias across Libya and remain missing in different parts of the country.

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

The number of Egyptian expats has dwindled since, although it is not clear how many Egyptians remain.

Following the ouster of long-time dictator Gaddafi, various Libyan militias have been fighting the central government in a civil war that has ravaged the country.

An internationally-recognised parliament currently operates out of the city of Tobruk in the east, while anti-government rebels control the capital Tripoli in the west.

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