Libya says Egyptians ‘detained’ not kidnapped

The Egyptian nationals were reportedly abducted by gunmen dressed in the Libyan military uniform

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The Libyan ambassador to Cairo, Mohammed Fayez Jibril, said the Egyptian nationals who were reportedly kidnapped were in fact “detained” by authorities after trying to illegally enter the country.

Jibril was quoted by the German Press Agency (DPA) as saying that the detainees were “well.”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that 70 Egyptians were abducted in different areas of the Libyan capital Tripoli by armed men dressed in military uniform.

The ministry did not explain why or when they were kidnaped but said efforts are currently underway to release the abductees and guarantee their safety.

The Egyptians were kidnapped in an-Zarah, Salah al-Din and Friday market areas in Tripoli, and were taken to the anti-crime center in al-Hadhabeh, the ministry said.

This is not the first time Egyptians have been targeted in Libya.

In February, Egypt expressed shock when seven Egyptian Christians were found shot dead on a beach in eastern Libya.

Four staff in the Egyptian embassy in Tripoli were also briefly kidnapped in January, a day after one Egyptian diplomat was seized.

The five Egyptian embassy staffers were kidnapped in retaliation for Egypt’s arrest of a Libyan militia chief. On Sunday, they were released as part of a swap.

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