CAIRO: Aid convoys carrying medical supplies and food continued to enter Libya Tuesday through the Salloum crossing as 8,482 Egyptians and 235 of other nationalities crossed into Egypt, according to a statement issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Conflicting reports emerged on the number of Egyptians killed during protests demanding the overthrow of President Muammar Qaddafi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said two Egyptians died from gunfire, Metwally Bazini from Beheira and Ayman Rezq from Menya; while Reuters quoted eyewitnesses returning from Libya saying they saw 10 Egyptians being shot at the border city of Tubruk.
The Pharmacists’ Syndicate in Cairo said that at least 25 Egyptians died in Benghazi during the protests.
Meanwhile, two military air carriers arrived in the capital city of Tripoli Tuesday to evacuate Egyptians as Daily News Egypt’s reporter in Salloum said more than 10,000 Egyptians crossed the border since Monday.
EgyptAir announced it will launch six extra flights to the cities of Tripoli and Sert Tuesday and Wednesday using high capacity Boeing 777 and Airbus 340 planes to carry Egyptians waiting at both airports.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Tuesday in a press conference that the damaged runway of Benghazi airport doesn’t allow any planes to land there.
Authorities from the governorate of Marsa Matrouh and military set up a number of field hospitals and rest houses for Egyptians and Libyans crossing the border.
"We have only received 10 people with very slight injuries so far; however we are ready to receive any emergency cases and we have orders to treat injured Libyans crossing the borders," said Raouf Ezzat, a doctor at the military field in Salloum.
The governorate of Marsa Matrouh also deployed food and water supplies for those coming from Libya.
Eyewitnesses said that more than 90 shuttle buses at the Salloum crossing are carrying Egyptians coming from Libya.
The Egyptian community in Libya is estimated to be between 1.5 to 2 million Egyptians.
A statement by the military council said that Libyan border guards abandoned their posts and that people are controlling the Libyan side of the borders.
Egypt beefed up its military presence on the borders sending extra units to secure the crossings into Egypt.
More than eight aid convoys carrying medical aid and food supplies crossed into Libya since Monday night.
"We had three convoys halted at the borders but were allowed in Monday night," said Maged Ahmed, organizer of Facebook aid campaign "Egyptians supporting Libyan revolution."
"We have sent seven convoys till now worth LE 2 million and we are sending two convoys from Cairo and Alexandria Tuesday," he added.
Ahmed said that they are planning a huge convoy worth LE 15 million from donations from all over Egypt to head to Libya Wednesday.
Doctors weren’t allowed to enter Libya until Monday night when eight doctors crossed into Libya after taking complete responsibility for themselves.
"We sent a medical crew but were denied access into Libya and stayed there all night so we decided not to send anymore doctors," Mostafa Al-Zogaby, executive director of the rescue committee at the Doctors’ Syndicate.
The syndicate sent one convoy Monday and is coordinating with the army to send two additional convoys, according to Al-Zogaby. –Additional reporting from Salloum by Daily News Egypt’s Ian Lee.