Two Egyptians shot dead in Libya-Tunisia border clash: state media

Fri Aug 1, 2014 8:45am GMT

By Mohamed Argoubi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Two people were shot dead when Libyan border guards opened fire to disperse hundreds of Egyptians trying to cross into Tunisia to flee Libya's growing chaos, the Tunisian state news agency TAP said on Thursday.

Hundreds of Libyan families and foreign workers have fled their homes after two weeks of clashes between rival Libyan militias over Tripoli's airport in the worst violence since the 2011 war to oust Muammar Gaddafi.

Most Libyan airports are closed because of deteriorating security in Tripoli and Benghazi, leaving Tunisia's border one of the few routes out for residents and some foreign diplomats fleeing bloodshed in the capital.

Hundreds of Egyptians were protesting at the border point of Ras Jdir after the Tunisian border guards closed its gates on Thursday, a Reuters reporter at the site said.

"The incident came after Libyan troops fired to disperse the Egyptians," TAP said, citing Tunisian security sources, who said the two victims had been shot.

There was no immediate comment from the Libyan authorities.

Neighbours Tunisia, Algerian and Egypt are all concerned about violent spillover from Libya's growing chaos involving clashes between rival militia factions and also Islamist militants and the armed forces.

Tunisia said on Wednesday it might close its frontiers with Libya if the security situation keeps worsening.   Continued...

A Tunisian border policeman checks the identification papers of a Libyan man at the border crossing of Ras el-Jedir Ben Guerdane, southeast of Tunis July 31, 2014. Around 200 people have been killed since clashes erupted two weeks ago in the Libyan capital Tripoli and also in the eastern city of Benghazi, where a coalition of Islamist militants and former rebels have overrun a major army base in the city.  REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
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