Tunisian border point swamped by refugees after bombing of Libyan capital

The flow of refugees from Libya reached a new peak on Friday as thousands of cars queued up since the early hours of the morning to cross the Ras El Jedir border point into Tunisia, the official press agency TAP reported on Saturday.

The number of refugees from various nationalities fleeing the heavy bombing of Libya's capital Tripoli by NATO airplanes is increasing by the day, TAP said, adding many diplomats and businessmen from African countries have also crossed the border into Tunisia on Friday.

In spite of the influx of thousands of refugees, Tunisian security forces and customs are checking those coming in, as well as their vehicles, TAP said.

A few weeks ago, Tunisian authorities arrested a number of people attempting to smuggle arms and explosives into the country.

In a related event, efforts are continuing to relocate refugees in the Choucha camp near Ras El Jedir. The operation will be completed within a few days, TAP said.

Some Somali, Eritrean and Ivorian refugees are still complaining of the lack of first necessity food products such as baby milk, baby pampers and clothes. They are calling on international humanitarian organizations to help them, TAP reported.

Some 4,900 refugees are still living in camps near the Ras El Jedir border point.

[Source: Xinhua, Tunis, 11Jun11]

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