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LIBYA: Egyptian military creates refugee camps near border

February 21, 2011 |  2:18 pm

Libyaegypt The Egyptian military has set up refugee camps near its border with Libya, an Egyptian state news agency reported Monday.

Egyptian military officials have also set up two mobile hospitals at the Salum border crossing to assist Egyptians fleeing the protests in Libya, according Egypt's state-run news website EgyNews.

Libyan guards have withdrawn from their side of the border with Egypt after anti-government protests, Egypt's army said on its Facebook page on Monday.

"Members of the Libyan border guard withdrew from (the Libyan side of the border) and it is currently in the control of people's committees," Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said in its Facebook message.

The statement did not make clear whether the groups now in control of the border were loyal to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.


The Egyptian army also said it would send planes to Libya to evacuate Egyptians once the situation stabilised. It said the field hospitals had been set up near the Salum border crossing.

Egypt's state news agency said 4,000 Egyptians had already returned from Libya Monday. Those who returned said many others could not make the journey due to a shortage of vehicles and fuel to bring them.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit called on Libya Monday to swiftly issue permits to allow planes to enter Libyan air space so Egypt could collect citizens, the Egyptian state news agency reported. He also said the Foreign Ministry had sent buses to the Salum border crossing.

--  Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo top: An Egyptian protester outside the Libyan Embassy in Cairo on Monday. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the embassy to demonstrate against Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi. Credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Photo bottom: Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Facebook page.