The numbers of Egyptians trying to illegally cross to Libya have significantly decreased compared to the period preceding the targeting of Egyptians in Libya, Director of Salloum Port Brigadier General Nayel Fawzy told Daily News Egypt.
Fawzy could not provide exact numbers of the illegal immigrants caught following the decapitation of 20 Egyptian Christians in February in the city of Sirte. The flow of Egyptians out of Libya has been on the rise since the incident.
However, despite the deteriorating conditions in Libya, hundreds of Egyptians have been arrested while attempting to cross the Salloum border into the neighbouring country.
According to state media reports, 181 illegal immigrants, including two Sudanese men, were caught on Monday. On 8 July, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that 328 illegal immigrants were caught including five Sudanese tried to cross to Libya as well.
Islamists, whether “Islamic State” affiliates or Fajr Libya militants (Libya Dawn), have taken control over a wide range of cities in Libya including Misrata, Benghazi, Sirte, Derna and the capital, Tripoli.
Egyptian labourers have been escaping unemployment in Egypt to find jobs in the oil-producing nation since the 1970s.
Before the end of Ramadan, Islamic State affiliates in Libya known as the “State of Barqa” published a series of photos featuring alleged Egyptian workers“liberated from bandits”in the Libyan city of Nufaliya.
Militants in the photos were in the possession of Egyptian passports, although the authenticity of the photos could not be independently confirmed. Local Libyan media, citing Libyan Army spokesperson Mohamed Hegazy, confirmed the incident.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is currently in contact with the relevant Egyptian and Libyan authorities to confirm and follow up on the incident.