Libya, Egypt in talks over diplomat hostages

2014-01-26 15:49
Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Mirghani at a press conference following the kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Mirghani at a press conference following the kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libya's government was in talks with Egypt on Sunday to resolve a hostage crisis after gunmen kidnapped five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli in retaliation for Egypt's arrest of a top Libyan militia commander.

Gunmen grabbed five diplomatic staff from their homes in the Libyan capital within 24 hours, including the cultural attaché, after the powerful Islamist-leaning militia reported its commander Shaban Hadia was detained in Egypt.

Kidnappers on Saturday later called Dubai-based Arab channel Al Arabiya, demanding Hadia's release in 24 hours and put one of the Egyptian diplomats on the line to plead with their government to meet the demands.

"They are still being held," Libya's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

"Talks between the Libyan and Egyptian sides are at the top level, the prime ministers are talking to each other."

Hadia commands the Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries, a powerful militia, which denied it was involved in the Egyptian kidnappings.

The abduction of five diplomats in the Libyan capital illustrated the fragility of government control over former rebels and militias who two years ago helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in a Nato-backed revolution.

Heavily armed ex-fighters, militiamen and Islamist militants who battled Gaddafi forces have refused to disarm and often remain more loyal to their brigades, tribal leaders or local regions than to the new Libyan government.

The Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries is nominally under the control of chief of staff to work with the armed forces, but the militia has before used military muscle to make political demands on the state.

Operations Room commanders denied any involvement in the diplomat abductions. But on Friday, they had warned of a response if Hadia was not released.

The group said he was arrested visiting Egypt with family for medical treatment.

The group was accused of briefly abducting Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in Tripoli in October last year. It initially claimed it had arrested the premier, but later denied that after he was released hours later.

Egypt's ambassador to Libya and other diplomats and their families arrived on Saturday back in Cairo after the government evacuated the embassy in Tripoli and the consulate in Benghazi as a precautionary measure.

Read more on:    egypt  |  libya  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.