Egypt detains 131 people trying to cross into Libya
Egyptians depart from the Salloum land port on the border between Egypt and Libya. (AFP/File)
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Security forces in Matruh arrested 131 Egyptians who attempted to illegally to cross the Egyptian-Libyan border via desert routes in Salloum and Siwa on Sunday.
Those arrested are from the governorates of Minya, Sohag, Beni Suef, Assuit, Damietta, Fayoum, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menufia, Behiera, and Qaliubiya.
Many illegal immigrants tend to risk their lives in the hopes of finding decent job opportunities in a secure environment, or to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
Despite the ongoing political crisis in Libya, similar attempts to cross the border have been customary in the past year. Previous unsuccessful attempts to enter the Libyan borders in 2014 were thwarted by Egyptian police in October and November.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry participated in tripartite meetings in Algeria, alongside his Italian and Algerian counterparts, to discuss the ongoing politically unstable situation in Libya, especially its impact in neighbouring countries.
Last week, Egyptian police arrested 120 people – 118 Egyptians and two Sudanese – who attempted to illegally cross the Egyptian-Libyan border at Salloum via desert roads.
In October, Egyptian Minister of Justice Ahmed Al-Zind announced the launching of a special court for illegal immigration and human trafficking crimes.
By Sarah El-Sheikh and Menan Khater