Security forces arrested 132 people as they attempted to illegally cross into Libya from Egypt. Out of the total detainees, 128 came from governorates across Egypt, while the remaining four were Sudanese.
Attempts to illegally cross into Libya are frequent. In October 2014, 196 people were stopped as they were trying to enter Libya clandestinely and face prosecution on charges of being in a prohibited area. Libya is a transit point for migrants travelling to Europe, though large numbers of Egyptians also seek employment in Libya, despite the security risks.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated travel warnings to Libya due to ongoing conflicts between rival militias and has called on Egyptians residing there to exercise utmost caution and keep away from armed clashes. The ministry warned Egyptian truck drivers in particular, as they are often targeted by militia groups in return for ransom.
Several Egyptians were killed in Libya in recent months. The shelling of a house killed 23 Egyptians in Tripoli in July. That same month, 15 Egyptians were gunned down at the border with Tunisia, as they attempted to flee the violence in Libya.
The security situation in Libya was fragile following the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Muammar Gaddafi. Over the past year, however, events took a turn for the worse and the country is now arguably in a state of civil war, with rival governmental authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk, and fierce fighting occurring daily in the capital and in Benghazi.
Egypt has expressed concern over the situation in Libya and has participated in several international conferences with the aim of reaching a solution to the Libyan conflict.