Migrants sit in their boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy ship Borsini (unseen) off the coast of Sicily, Italy, in this handout picture courtesy of the Italian Marina Militare released on July 19, 2016. Reuters
CAIRO, Sept 10 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's security forces have foiled an illegal migration attempt to Europe by 155 people, state-run news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
Security forces of Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, about 134 km north of Cairo, captured 155 persons of different nationalities, including 114 Egyptians, 13 Sudanese, 14 Somalis and 9 Syrians, as they were attempting to migrate illegally to Italy.
Two from Sierra Leone, two from Guinea and a Liberian were also arrested.
They paid two smugglers who in exchange were going to transfer them to Italian borders through the Mediterranean on a fishing boat, according to MENA.
This is not the first time that the Egyptian security forces have announced thwarting illegal migration attempts in the past few months, as hundreds have been arrested for attempting to exit the country irregularly.
In August, the military spokesman said that Egyptian border guard forces stopped 366 persons before they could set sail from the country's coasts en route to Europe. In April, Italy said that a boat capsized off Egypt's coast killing hundreds of migrants.
Illegal migration to Europe has largely increased in recent years, as conflicts and dire economic conditions in the Middle East and African countries pushed millions of migrants and refugees to cross over to Europe to flee poverty and war.