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Humanitarian emergency on Libya's borders

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Humanitarian emergency on Libya's borders


As more and more people flee the bloodshed in Libya, the authorities are warning that the rebellion in the country has become a humanitarian emergency on its frontiers.

The UN refugee agency estimates 100,000 have crossed Libya’s borders, the vast majority neighbouring Egyptians and Tunisians.

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Fifteen thousand are taking shelter at a hastily constructed camp at Ras Jdir in Tunisia.

An Egyptian refugee there said: “Gaddafi’s son said the rebellion was inspired by what happened in Egypt. Since that speech Gaddafi’s mercenaries tried to kill us. That’s why we’ve gone.”

More than half the total number of those fleeing are Egyptian according to the UN.

Among those who find themselves safe in Tunisia but a long way from home there is growing anger aimed at the government in Cairo.

One Egyptian refugee said: “We want to go home. Prime Minister of Egypt Ahmad Shafiq, this is your fault. Send us planes. This is your fault and your ministers’ fault. We thank the Tunisian people for looking after us.”

euronews correspondent Jamal Izzedini reported from the border crossing: “Thousands of Egyptians and other foreigners are flooding across the border at Ras Jdier, between Libya and Tunisia. We’ve seen big efforts have been made by the local Tunisian authorities to help and give aid to Egyptians and other foreigners by giving them food, drinks, blankets, and clothes.”

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