Cairo - Egyptian border patrol and coast guard forces stopped more than 12,000 people of various nationalities from illegally entering or leaving the country in 2016, the military said on Wednesday,
Migrants have tried to cross to Italy from the African coast, particularly from Libya, where people traffickers operate with relative impunity. But boats have increasingly departed from Egypt.
The military listed "The arrest of 12,192 people of various nationalities and a total of 434 cases of illegal migration," in a statement on its achievements last year.
Egypt passed legislation in October to crack down on people traffickers linked to a surge in the numbers of migrants departing from its Mediterranean coast on sea journeys to Europe.