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Nearly 5,000 Egyptians fled Libya for Tunisia, says diplomat

February 26, 2015

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — An Egyptian diplomat overseeing the evacuation of his compatriots from Libya says 5,000 have now crossed into Tunisia and been flown to Cairo.

Thameur Mamdouh told the Associated Press Thursday that border crosssings over the last week were orderly.

He estimated that 700,000 Egyptians were working in Libya. An official on the Egyptian-Libyan border said Wednesday some 20,000 had crossed into Egypt from that side.

Egyptians have been fleeing Libya since the broadcast of a video by the Islamic State group showing the decapitation of Egyptian Christians, followed by retaliatory Egyptian air strikes.

The orderly evacuation is in contrast to riots last year when Egyptians attempted to force their way out due to long lines.

Mamdouh said one Egyptian corpse had also been repatriated, without elaborating.

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