Hundreds of Egyptians denied entry to Libya

About 800 Egyptians turned away at Tripoli's Miitiga airport because of "non-compliant visas," official says.

    Tripoli's main airport was badly damaged this summer in a deadly battle for control among rival militias [EPA]
    Tripoli's main airport was badly damaged this summer in a deadly battle for control among rival militias [EPA]

    Hundreds of Egyptian workers have been refused entry to Libya over the past 48 hours because their visas were invalid, according to a spokesperson at Tripoli's Miitiga airport.

    "Around 800 Egyptians were turned away. They all had non-compliant visas," the spokesperson told the AFP news agency on Saturday.

    Tripoli and a large part of western Libya have been controlled since late August by Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn), a militia that has accused Egypt of backing its rivals and bombarding its positions - a claim Cairo has denied.

    The airport spokesperson said no work visas had been issued since June, but witnesses at the airport said Egyptians appeared to be the only ones affected by the measure.

    "Other nationalities have been allowed in with no problem," one witness told AFP.

    The spokesperson maintained "this measure applies to all nationalities. Egyptians are not themselves being targeted".

    Amid spiralling violence in the country, Fajr Libya defeated its rivals this summer in a deadly battle for control over the country's main civilian airport in southern Tripoli.

    The airport was badly damaged and has been closed ever since, with civilian flights by Libyan airlines resuming from the Miitiga military base.

    Fajr Libya has installed a parallel authority in Tripoli to the elected government sitting in the eastern city of Tobruk.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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