Around ten thousand Egyptians stranded at border with Tunisia

Around 10 000 Egyptians fleeing the fighting in Libya are still stranded at the border with Tunisia, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said Monday on a visit to Tunis.

“So far we have evacuated around 2 500… we don’t have exact statistics but between 5 000 and 10 000 people” are still waiting to leave, he said at a news conference after meeting Tunisia Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

Shoukri did not specify how long it will take to repatriate all the Egyptians, though Cairo promised on Saturday to take home about 2 000 people a day by air and if necessary by sea.

The Egyptians are stuck on the Libyan side of the border with Tunisia after the government there said it would only let in people other than Tunisians and Libyans if they could prove arrangements were in place to get them home.

On Friday, hundreds of Egyptians tried to storm the Ras Jedir border crossing into Tunisia, prompting Libyan border guards to fire warning shots.

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