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Egypt detains Kurdish Iraqis en route to Italy

Fuad Sharif Suleman holds the passport of his family members in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on January 30, 2017 after returning to Iraq from Egypt, where him and his family were prevented from boarding a plane to the US [SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images]
Fuad Sharif Suleman holds the passport of his family members in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on January 30, 2017 after returning to Iraq from Egypt, where him and his family were prevented from boarding a plane to the US [SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian authorities have arrested 32 Kurdish Iraqi citizens who were trying to immigrate to Italy via Egypt, Kurdish Rudawnews site reported.

The site published a video sent by one of the detainees who explained that the group of families including women and children were on a bus heading to Alexandria when the bus driver dropped them off saying they had arrived at their destination. The police then picked them up.

"Police then arrested us, and we have been at Burullus police station for four days," the unidentified Kurdish man said in the video.

The group includes people from Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Halabja who had left for Egypt on 16 April.

Alan Abdullah, whose son is amongst those detained, told Rudaw that they wanted to cross to Italy, but were arrested before they reached the sea, explaining that their visa expires on 17 May.

As a result of the unrest in neighbouring Libya, Egypt is a major transit point for migrants wishing to make the perilous sea journey to Europe.

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AfricaEgyptEurope & RussiaIraqItalyMiddle EastNews
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