Twenty-three Egyptian workers were killed in a rocket attack on Saturday in Tripoli, where militia rivalries are intensifying, state news agency MENA reported.
Brigades of former rebel fighters in the Libyan capital have fought with rockets and artilleries for two weeks since a militia attacked Tripoli airport — the worst violence in Tripoli and eastern Benghazi since the 2011 downfall of autocratic ruler Moammar Gaddafi.
A Grad rocket was fired at the farm home of the Egyptian workers in Tripoli’s western Karimiya region, killing them all, Alaa Hadoura, head of the Egyptian community in Libya, told MENA.
The United States evacuated its embassy in Southern Tripoli on Saturday, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia after the intense fighting escalated near the embassy compound.
The North African nation is a main destination for Egyptian migrants seeking job opportunities abroad, mostly due to its geographical proximity and open border policies which, until 2006, had allowed Egyptians to enter and reside there with as little as a valid identification card.
Last week, however, Egypt’s foreign ministry warned firmly against any travel to the country amid the deadly militia violence that left at least four Egyptians dead last week in the volatile city of Benghazi, a hotbed of Islamism.
The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 330,000 to 1.5 million Egyptians worked in Libya up until the ongoing unrest that began following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Gaddafi in 2011. The number of Egyptian expats has sharply dwindled since.
At least 50 have been killed in the capital since the latest bout of violence began two weeks ago, leading to the cancellation of most international flights.
Source: MENA & Ahram Online