Foreign Ministry: Situation for Egyptians kidnapped in Libya is complex

The situation is “complicated” for the Egyptians kidnapped in Libya, the spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a press statement on Sunday, adding that the ministry is in daily communication to resolve the situation, according to independently owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. 

The spokesperson, Ambassador Abdel Aty, had stated previously that the diplomatic interference of the ministry is limited, as the Libyan government has lost control over several regions within the country.  

Abdel Aty said the case is a priority for the Egyptian government. He cited the safe return of the recently kidnapped fisherman, adding that they are working on ensuring that all those kidnapped are brought back safely. 

Meetings are being held daily to follow up on the latest developments, according to the spokesperson, who said that the ministry is in daily contact with the heads of Libyan tribes and government officials regarding the matter.

Last week, 13 Egyptian Coptic Christians were kidnapped in the city of Sirte in Libya. According to reports, the kidnappers were specifically targeting Christians. A witness said the attackers checked IDs and only drove off with Christian Egyptians.

SkyNews Arabia reported that the kidnappers are allegedly related to the fundamentalist Islamic Group, Ansar al-Sharia, who were also involved in the killing of the US Ambassador and the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi more than a year ago. 

Such incidents have become more common over the last year. According to the latest statistics, around 20 Christian Egyptians are currently being held in Libya. The body of a kidnapped Christian Egyptian girl was found a week before the incident. Both her parents were found handcuffed and killed 10 days before in their home in Sirte, newspapers reported.

The Ansar al-Sharia militia was allegedly formed in 2012 following the Libyan revolution. The extremist group calls for the enforcement of Sharia in Libya and was declared a terrorist group by both the US and the UN’s Security Council in 2014.


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