Seven Egyptian nationals have been abducted in Libya's northwestern city of Misrata, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Monday, reiterating earlier warnings to Egyptian citizens not to travel to the war-torn North African country.
In a statement, the ministry said the Egyptian authorities were "closely following the case of seven citizens who were recently abducted at the entrance of Misurata’s Al-Karareem district," all of whom, it noted, hailed from Egypt’s southern Minya province.
The ministry went on to stress that it was in contact with the relevant Libyan authorities with a view to securing the abducted Egyptians’ release.
It refrained from stating, however, who it believed had abducted the Egyptians.
The Foreign Ministry also renewed earlier warnings to Egyptian citizens against traveling to Libya "in light of the unstable security situation there and lack of Egyptian diplomatic representation".
Nahhas Barakat, the brother of one of the Egyptians reportedly abducted in Misrata, told reporters in Egypt that his brother had been abducted -- along with several others -- 38 days ago while returning to Cairo.
Tariq Nasr, governor of Minya province, met with several of the families of the abducted Egyptians on Monday, reassuring them that the authorities were doing everything in their power to secure the release of their loved ones.
In early 2014, the Egyptian authorities effectively barred nationals from traveling to neighboring Libya due to the dangerous security situation in the violence-racked North African country.
Libya has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
By Hussein Mahmoud, Gamal Abdel al-Moaz, and Ali Abo Rezeg
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