February 22, 2011 / 8:48 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Egyptian military reinforces border with Libya

(Updates with details)

CAIRO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Egypt’s military rulers reinforced the border with Libya with guards but opened the main crossing for 24 hours a day to allow the sick and injured to enter, a military source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Egypt’s army said on Monday that Libyan border guards had withdrawn from their side of the border between the two North African states, according to a posting on the army’s Facebook page.

The military council had decided to “reinforce the borders with border guards to secure the Egyptian border with Libya and will open the Salum passage throughout the day for medical conditions and those stuck,” the military source said.

The Salum passage is the main crossing on the coast between Egypt and Libya. It had previously been open only for a few hours a day.

Egypt’s army has set up two field hospitals and also camps to receive Egyptians and Libyans on the border with Libya, the army said on Monday, after increasingly bloody battles between Libyan security forces and protests.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was under pressure to hang on to power when anti-government protests against his 41-year rule struck the capital Tripoli after days of violence in the east.

The military source also told Reuters it would send two planes to Libya to evacuate Egyptians. (Reporting by Marwa Awad; Writing by Dina Zayed; editing by Myra MacDonald)

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