Libyan guards at crossing to Egypt stop working
The incident will reinforce worries in Egypt that militants are using the desert border to smuggle in fighters and arms from Libya
Libya’s regular border security guards have stopped working at the main border crossing to Egypt, officials said on Wednesday, a further breakdown of state authority.
The incident will reinforce worries in Egypt that militants are using the desert border to smuggle in fighters and weapons from Libya, which is in a state of chaos four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Qaddafi.
The border is also a transit route for migrants from Syria heading via Egypt to western Libya, from where they hope to get by boat with the help of smugglers to Italy.
“The force protecting the Musaid border crossing between Egypt and Libya have withdrawn due to some problems,” said Tariq Kharaz, a spokesman for the interior ministry of Libya’s internationally recognized government, based in the east.
He said another force was now manning the border, declining to say why the regular troops had left.
An Egyptian security source said the regular Libyan border guards had stopped working five days ago, adding that civilians now appeared to be working on the Libyan side of the border.
Egypt had increased before security at the 1,000 km (600 mile) long border with Libya, where Islamic State has made inroads by exploiting a security vacuum as two governments fight each other.
The internationally recognized government is based in the east since a rival group seized the capital Tripoli a year ago, setting up its own administration.
Both administrations rely on alliances of former anti-Qaddafi rebels which lack equipment and training.
International readiness for war in LibyaNo one favors going back to the time of foreign interventions, but this may be the only solution Middle East
2000GMT: Arab League vows military support to LibyaNews Bulletins
Arab League vows military support to LibyaLibya's foreign minister appealed for help at an emergency Arab League meeting in Cairo Middle East
1900GMT: Rope of hope for Libya dialogueNews Bulletins
Libya PM withdraws offer to resignAbdullah al-Thani announced he was ready to step down during an emotional live television appearance last Tuesday Africa
World powers slam ‘barbaric’ ISIS attacks in LibyaISIS militants seized control of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in June and militants beheaded 12 local militiamen Middle East
ISIS ‘beheads’ 12 in battle for Libya’s Sirte: mediaThe 12 people beheaded were local gunmen who had been battling ISIS in the eastern Sirte district known as ‘neighborhood three’ Africa
Arab League to meet after Libya’s request on ISISLibya’s internationally recognized government has asked fellow Arab states to conduct airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte Middle East
ISIS executes rival fighters after revolt in central LibyaISIS executes and displays the bodies of four members of a rival group in Libya Middle East