Minister reports 450,000 Egyptian returnees from Libya

Minister of Manpower and Immigration Ahmed Hassan al-Borai said on Thursday that 450,000 Egyptians have returned from Libya after fleeing unrest there.

On Wednesday, Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reported a number much lower than that, saying around 300,000 had returned from Libya since the outbreak of anti-regime protests in February against incumbent leader Muammar al-Qadhafi.

All of the returnees will be provided with certificates listing their properties and businesses in Libya to compensate them for their losses, according to Borai.

He said the certificates can be obtained from any of the ministry's offices, adding that the government has already received 180,000 compensation requests.

The minister also said that the government had allocated around LE100 million through its Social Fund for Development to help the returnees launch small enterprises.

Borai also noted that some expatriates have returned to Libya's eastern regions to resume their work. 

Egyptians represent Libya’s biggest foreign community with approximately 1.5 million people. Some returnees have said Qadhafi’s forces targeted them and detained them, forcing them to confess to instigating the protests. 

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