Egyptians reportedly kidnapped in Libya, foreign ministry to investigate

Tuesday 15-03-2016 03:04 PM

Egyptians return from Libya through Tunisia on 20 Feb. 2015. (Reuters)

CAIRO, Mar 15 (Aswat Masriya) - Approximately 15 Egyptian workers have reportedly been kidnapped by ISIS in Libya, Rami Magdi, whose father is amongst the kidnapped, told Aswat Masriya on Monday.

Magdi said he filed a report to the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Meanwhile, Hisham al-Naqeeb, a foreign ministry official, said on Tuesday that ministry is investigating the case, and is putting in all its efforts to insure the safety of Egyptians abroad, the state-owned MENA reported.

According to Magdi, who is also a lawyer, his father along with 14 more Egyptian workers were kidnapped by ISIS in Tripoli approximately four days ago. Magdi received the news of his father's kidnapping from his brother, who also lives in Libya.

Magdi added that Mohamed Abu Bakr, Egypt's ambassador to Tripoli, has been contacted. Abu Bakr speculates that there are four places where the kidnapped workers could be, and that there are currently negotiations with the kidnappers, until the workers are set free. 

The allegedly kidnapped Egyptian workers come from various provinces, including Gharbia, Alexandria, Daqahliyah, and Sohag.

In February 2015, ISIS released videos of the beheading 21 Coptic Egyptian workers whom it had abducted in Sirte on two separate occasions in December and January.

Egypt launched airstrikes in Libya in response to the beheadings. The Egyptian military had said in a statement the strikes targeted training sites and weapons and ammunition storage sites belonging to Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, located inside Libya.

Fighting in Libya has intensified since the overthrow of late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, reaching unprecedented levels over the past year. As a result, several Libyan cities have fallen under control of armed militant groups.

Several Egyptians have been caught up in the militant fighting gripping the neighbouring country. 

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