Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

15,000 Egyptians flee Libya after ISIL execution of Christians

Egypt has urged hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who work in Libya to leave, and has chartered planes to ferry them home from Tunisia.

CAIRO // Almost 15,000 Egyptians have flocked back home from war-torn Libya, crossing at the Sallum border, following the murder of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIL.

Egyptian and Libyan aircraft hit ISIL targets in Libya last week after the extremists released a video showing the beheadings.

Since then, Egypt has urged hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who work in Libya to leave, and has chartered planes to ferry them home from Tunisia.

At least 14,585 Egyptians have returned home crossing from the Sallum border post in north-west Egypt, the state news agency Mena reported.

A Tunisian transport ministry spokeswoman meanwhile said that at least 1,000 Egyptians who had fled Libya through Tunisia have been airlifted home on planes chartered by Cairo since Friday.

An unspecified number of Egyptians were also waiting to cross the frontier on the Libyan side of the border.

In July, thousands of Egyptians fleeing violence in Libya were stranded for days at the Tunisian border when authorities refused to let them through until Cairo had arranged their transport home.

Tunisia has struggled to cope since expatriates fleeing Libya during the 2011 uprising flooded the country.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: February 23, 2015 04:00 AM