13 Egyptians kidnapped in Libya freed: army

2017-02-14 20:46


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Cairo  - Egypt's army on Tuesday announced the release of 13 Egyptians kidnapped in eastern Libya, which has been plagued by chaos and security problems since 2011.

Army spokesperson Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement the 13 "were abducted by an armed criminal group in the Ajdabiya region".

The statement said their liberation had been made possible by "coordination with the general command of the Libyan army", without elaborating.

The Libyan National Army is loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman in eastern Libya and a rival of Fayez al-Sarraj, leader of the Tripoli-based and internationally recognised national unity government.

Libya has been mired in political and security problems since the 2011 revolution that overthrew longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi, with rival militias jockeying for power.

In February 2015, the Islamic State group released video footage it said showed the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, most of them Egyptian, who had been abducted in Libya.

In the wake of the atrocity, Egypt staged air raids against ISIS  positions in retaliation and thousands of poor migrant Egyptian workers in Libya returned home.

Read more on:    moammar gaddafi  |  egypt  |  libya  |  north africa

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