210 Egyptians arrive in Egypt from Libya in the last 24 hours

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Aug 2015

Tens of thousands of Egyptian workers have returned from Libya since 2011 following the overthrow of long-time autocrat Muammar Gaddafi

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

Two-hundred and ten Egyptians fleeing Libya arrived in Egypt after being permitted to pass through Salloum border crossing in Marsa Matrouh governorate on Sunday, state agency MENA reported the next day.

General Hisham Lutfi, the assistant to the minister of interior, stated that the 179 Egyptians who arrived through Salloum border crossing entered Libya legally, while the remaining 31 of those who returned entered the neighbouring country

According to Marsa Matrouh officials, approximately 68,000 Egyptians have crossed through Salloum port into Egypt since the Egyptian army launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Libya in February.

The airstrikes were in reaction to the beheading of 20 Coptic Egyptian fishermen by the Islamist militant group.

The International Organisation for Migration estimated that between 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya until leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, sending between an estimated $19.5 and 33 million dollars back to Egypt in remittances.

For decades, Libya has been a major destination for Egyptian migrant workers due to its once booming oil economy, geographical proximity and open borders.

Instability in Libya has prompted tens of thousands of Egyptian workers to return to Egypt, though many have remained.

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

Anti-government rebels currently operate out of the city of Tripoli in the west while an internationally recognised government sits in Tobruk in the east.

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