Marines Airlift 45 Egyptians Home From Tunisia
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 A Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft has airlifted 45 Egyptians from Djerba, Tunisia, to Cairo in the latest transport of refugees from Libya, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said today.
This brings the total number of Egyptians transported by the American military to Cairo to 835 in 11 flights.
The Marine aircraft flew from Sigonella Naval Air Station, Italy, to Djerba, where it loaded the passengers.
The Egyptian government has a standing request with the United States to help in transporting Egyptians who fled the fighting in Libya back to Egypt. Air Force and Marine Corps planes are standing by in Italy and Greece to aid that effort.
The first flights began March 5. DOD officials said the U.S. planes will fly Egyptians home as long as there is a need, and that no other country has requested this help.
United Nations officials said more than 250,000 people have fled the fighting in Libya since it began last month, estimating that roughly 6,000 people leave the nation each day.