One hundred Egyptian citizens are thought to have gone missing near the Libyan border, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
Official ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said in a statement that the Egyptian consulate in Benghazi had made contact with Libyan officials and tribal elders “to verify reports that indicate that 100 Egyptian citizens were rumoured to have entered Libyan territory illegally, have gone missing south of the Tobruk-Ajdabiya road.”
The Egyptian consulate in Benghazi was not available for comment on the issue.
Earlier in October dozens of Egyptian drivers were abducted near the eastern city of Ajdabiya, and were later freed following a joint effort by the Libyan and Egyptian authorities. A Libyan militia chief claimed to have abducted the drivers.
The Egyptian consulate in Beghazi was not available for comment.
Egyptians have continued to illegally cross into Libya despite warnings from both governments advising them to obtain the correct documentation before travelling.
In April, a foreign ministry official said over 4,000 Egyptians entered Libya illegally this year. Egyptian fishermen also violate Libya’s waters for fishing purposes, due to the shortage of fish in Egypt’s water. In March, over 250 Egyptians were deported by Libyan authorities in a crackdown on illegal migrants.
Also in April, Egypt and Libya signed a military cooperation agreement, which included steps to tackle border security issues.