A Libyan Newspaper Says the Egyptian Nationals are Arrested by the Libyan Authorities

Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 23, 2011. Egypt sent military planes to Tripoli to evacuate up to 1.5 million Egyptians trapped in Libya's violent uprising as thousands dashed to the border hoping to make their way homer. UPITarek Elframawy

A Libyan newspaper claimed that the Egyptian nationals were not abducted as the Egyptian media announced. Libya’s Observer reported according to sources in Misrata that 8 Egyptian nationals are arrested by the Libyan security authorities in Misrata city.

The sources added that the Egyptians were arrested in one of the security checkpoints in eastern Misrata as they were trying to leave Sirte city, which was under the control of IS militants.

The sources said, “Because IS used to depend on recruiting foreign workers to fight for it, any foreign national, who used to live in Sirte over the last period, would be suspicious for the Libyan security authorities.”

Libya’s security officials said that it is a very normal procedure to keep those men in custody for security reasons and for investigation so that they can collect information about them. In addition, especially that some of them have residence permits that expired a year ago, others have entered Libya illegally without entry permits and one of them has not got a passport at all.

Three days ago, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced that 8 Egyptian nationals have been abducted in Libya’s northwestern city of Misrata. In this context, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has reiterated its earlier warnings to Egyptian citizens not to travel to Libya, “In the light of the unstable security situation there and the lack of Egyptian diplomatic representation.”

The ministry said that it has contacted various Libyan authorities with a view to securing the abducted Egyptians’ release. Nothing has been released on the identity of those who are believed have abducted the Egyptians.

The families of the Egyptian nationals have lost contact with their relatives since they left Sirte.

In the same context, the governor of Minya Governorate tried to calm the families of the abducted Egyptians that the authorities were doing their best to secure their release.

In 2014, Egyptian authorities have warned Egyptian citizens of traveling to neighboring Libya due to the dangerous security conditions in the country. Since the downfall of the al-Gaddaffi regime in 2011, Libya has been trapped in violence and political instability as well as the rise of ISIS militants in different areas.