By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 28 October 2013:
A tragedy appeared to be unfolding today, after people-smugglers abandoned around 100 illegal Egyptian immigrants . . .[restrict]in the desert, when part of their group had been confronted by Libyan security forces.
The Tobruk Joint Security Room information office said last night that a unit from the 71st Battalion manning a checkpoint at Wad Sahl on the Ajdabya-Tobruk road, had spotted vehicles seeking to by-pass their control by heading through the desert to the south.
When some of the unit intercepted one suspect vehicle, they fired warning shots but according to the spokesman the driver did not stop . One immigrant was killed in the firing and all sixteen occupants of the vehicle were slightly injured when it crashed and overturned.
All were taken to Tobruk hospital for treatment. While there, the driver manager to escape though his accomplice remains in custody.
It appears that questioning of the captured Egyptians provided the evidence that up to a hundred other illegal immigrants had been trying to avoid Libyan checkpoints by going through the desert. It is unclear why the illegal immigrants had been abandoned by their guides.
Patrols were sent out today to locate the missing Egyptians.
As with the kidnapping last week of Egyptian truckers and coach passengers on the B11 highway from Ajdabia to Tobruk, the Egyptian authorities are in close contact with their Libyan counterparts, lobbying for a rapid resolution of the crisis.