14 February 2017

Egypt: 13 Egyptians Kidnapped in Libya Released - Armed Forces

Cairo — Egypt's armed forces secured the release of 13 Egyptians who were kidnapped in the northeastern Libyan city of Ajdabia, army spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

Egyptian authorities arranged for the deportation of the victims back to Egypt and contacted their families, according to the statement.

The statement added that the release came after negotiations and cooperation with the Libyan army.

Egypt's foreign ministry had previously announced that it's working to free the Egyptian nationals who were held in Libya.

Egyptians residing in Libya have been caught up in the country's internal conflict, which has proliferated over the past few years.

Egypt has repeatedly warned its citizens against travel to Libyan territories and called for Egyptians living in Libya to exercise extreme caution due to the unstable security conditions.

In Feb. 2015, Islamic State (IS) fighters in Libya abducted and beheaded 20 Egyptian nationals in the city of Sirte, releasing a video of the beheading afterwards.

In response, Egypt launched airstrikes in Libya in the same week of the video's release. The Egyptian military said in a statement the strikes targeted training sites, weapons and ammunition storage sites belonging to ISIS fighters in the country.

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