Egyptian authorities detained approximately 3,000 irregular migrants in the first half of 2017 as part of efforts to fight illegal migration to Europe, but the officials have refused any EU backing to open detention centers.

Egypt thwarted attempts at irregular migration from its borders by some 3,000 people of different nationalities in the first half of 2017, a statement by the Egyptian armed forces said last week.

Thousands attempt to cross the sea

Over the past few years, thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe from Egypt's northern coast and many have been detained by Egyptian authorities in the process, according to the website of newspaper Al Ahram.

Late last year, Cairo introduced stiffer penalties against human traffickers after a migrant boat sank in September, killing hundreds of people. Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has spoken on several occasions about Egypt's ongoing efforts to curb irregular migration from its shores to Europe - a key concern for European countries facing a growing migrant crisis, the site adds.

Resisting EU proposals about camps

As part of a plan to restrict migration, the European Union (EU) is offering Egypt simplified visa procedures and increased economic aid in exchange for smoother deportations of unwanted African migrants. But Cairo, along with Tunisia, is resisting proposals to host EU-backed refugee camps. There are about 500,000 Syrian refugees residing in Egypt alone.

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