Tunisian authorities temporarily closed the country's border with Libya on Friday, stranding thousands of Egyptians eager to escape the expanding violence in Libya, Tunisia's state news agency reported.
Libyan border security forces opened fire when a crowd of about 6,000 people, most of them Egyptian, assembled at the Ras Ajdir crossing in western Libya and tried to forcibly enter Tunisia without entrance visas.
The head of the Tunisian security zone on the other side of the crossing was shot in the leg during the mayhem, the Tunisian news agency, TAP, reported. The incident came one day after two Egyptians were shot dead in a similar incident.
On Wednesday, Tunisian Foreign Minister Mohamed Hamdi said that 5,000 to 6,000 people were crossing every day as the situation in Libya worsened.
The police headquarters in the Libyan city of Benghazi was destroyed Friday in an apparent bomb attack. The blast occurred just a few days after the Ansar al Sharia Islamist militia took full control of the city.
The group, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, later proclaimed full authority over Benghazi, which it called an "Islamic Emirate."
Clashes continued in the capital, Tripoli, where hard-line Islamist militias from the western city of Misurata have been fighting the Zintan armed group to take over Libya's biggest airport since July 12. An unspecified number of houses nearby the airport were damaged without any casualties reported, the Libyan state news agency LANA reported.
Since the fall of Moammar Kadafi's government in 2011, Libya's elected General National Congress has struggled to impose its authority among the armed groups that took part in the fighting against the dictator. Some of the militias have taken control of oil ports and major cities in the North African country.
Hassan is a special correspondent.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times