At least 12 illegal Egyptian immigrants were killed on Wednesday in the city of Bani Walid in north Libya amid clashes with members of smuggling gangs, Egypt's foreign ministry said.
The Egyptian embassy in Libya, which carries out its work from Egypt due to the deteriorating security situation in the country, has conducted phone calls with authorities in Bani Walid to know more about the incident, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that it is contacting the forensic authority in the Libyan city to have the bodies examined and the victims identified and sent back to Egypt.
According to Abdel Hamid al-Shandoury, a member of the local council of the Bani Walid city, 14 illegal immigrants were killed on Wednesday, 12 of whom are Egyptian and two are Syrian.
He added that the Egyptians clashed with a number of Libyan nationals and killed three of them; the families of those killed murdered the Egyptians in revenge.
Violence has intensified in Libya particularly since 2014, when conflicting parties sought to take control of the country.
Egyptians residing in Libya have been caught up in the country’s internal conflict which has recently proliferated.
Accordingly, Egypt has warned against travel to Libyan territories and called for Egyptians living in Libya to exercise extreme caution.
Last January, Egypt received 20 Egyptian nationals who were held captive by Libyan militia groups.
In Feb. 2015, Islamic State 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 and weapons and ammunition storage sites belonging to ISIS fighters in the country.
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