By Marina Makary
Egyptians returning from Libya through the Salloum border in the past 24 hours have numbered 2,140, state media reported.
Cairo International Airport also received several flights transporting Egyptians from Libya, through the Tunisian city of Djerba. According to state media, more than 250 arrived at Cairo International Airport Wednesday morning, although state officials at the airport neither confirmed nor denied the number.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb held on Wednesday the cabinet’s second meeting since the killing of 20 Egyptians in Libya earlier this month. The cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee to “study the mechanism of dealing with the victims of criminal incidents at the hands of terrorist groups in Libya”.
The meeting also discussed ways to facilitate the return of Egyptians from Libya through both air and land transportation. Mehleb stated that “the ministry is providing all the necessary preparations in the Salloum border to receive Egyptians returning from Libya”.
Mehleb confirmed that the Ministry of Education has “clear orders to receive all school and university students returning from Libya immediately, as well as to attempt to offer job opportunities as soon as they arrive”.
In efforts to minimise the spread of Islamist militants in Libya, Egypt forced Libyan airlines flying between Turkey and Jordan and the capital city of Tripoli Tuesday to stop in eastern Libya. This was to allow Abdullah Al-Thinni’s internationally-recognised government in Tobruk to spot potential Islamist fighters, Reuters reported.
Thousands of Egyptian workers have recently fled Libyan territory following the release of a video showing the “Islamic State” (IS) beheading the 20 Egyptian Copts. Many workers prefer crossing the Salloum border over returning via airplanes, due to expensive flight tickets.
Two opposing governments are currently operating in Libya, with Al-Thinni’s government in Tobruk in eastern Libya, opposed by another, led by Omar Al-Hasi, in Tripoli in western Libya. Libya has been witnessing a rising insurgency by several rebel groups and militias since the overthrow of Muammar al Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.