Kidnapped Egyptian fishermen freed in Libya
The fishermen were abducted in the Libyan city of Misrata. (AFP/File)
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The fishermen, who had been kidnapped by gunmen belonging to Libya Dawn (the Fajr Libya) militia alliance in the city of Misrata last Saturday, were released early on Tuesday, Egyptian state TV quoted Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Adel el-Beltagy as saying.
The militant group issued a statement on Monday, calling on all Egyptian workers to leave Libya within 48 hours to save their lives “from any revenge attacks.”
The move by the Libyan militant group came after Egypt hit the positions of Daesh in Libya earlier on Monday, killing about 60 militants.
Libya Dawn took over Tripoli in the summer 2014 and established its own government and parliament, dubbed General National Congress (GNC), forcing Prime Minister Abdullah el-Thinni’s internationally recognized government to operate from the eastern city of Tobruk.
According to Libyan media, at least 35 Egyptians have been kidnapped in Libya since Egypt launched the airstrikes against Daesh. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry, however, says there have been no new cases of abduction of Egyptian workers in Libya.
Following the Egyptian airstrikes on Monday, Saqer al-Joroushi, a Libyan commander, told Egyptian state television that the Egyptian airstrikes were carried out a day after the Takfiri group released a video showing the purported beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians.
“There are casualties among individuals, ammunition and the communication centers belonging to them (Daesh),” Joroushi said, adding that “more airstrikes will be carried out today and tomorrow in coordination with Egypt.”
Joroushi further stated that Egyptian and Libyan war planes joined hands to attack targets in the eastern town of Derna.
On Sunday, an online video showed the purported execution of a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians by Daesh.
The shocking video prompted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to pledge retaliation against Daesh. Cairo has also called for tough global action against Daesh in Libya.
The Egyptians, whose photos were published in the latest online edition of the Daesh magazine, Dabiq, were reportedly abducted in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in two attacks in December last year and January.
Following the event, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry warned Egyptians not to travel to Libya, advising those already living in the country to avoid areas of high tension. A large number of Egyptians, many of them construction laborers, are currently working in Libya.