[QODLink]
Middle East

Scores of Egyptians taken hostage in Libya

Libyan gunmen demand release of a national who was handed a life sentence by Egyptian authorities for smuggling arms.

Last updated: 05 Apr 2014 22:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Egyptian authorities have warned citizens from traveling to Libya following reoccurring attacks [Reuters]

Armed Libyans have abducted 150 Egyptian drivers who were on their way home, along with their trucksaccording to Egypt's state-run Al Ahram newspaper.

Saturday's kidnapping was to protest against a life sentence passed by Egyptian authorities to a Libyan smuggler, the newspaper reported.

The drivers were being held in Libya’s Ajdabiya district, said Omran Ambewa, a member of Al-Qanashat tribe which has a presence in Libya and Egypt.

This comes days after Egyptian authorities sentenced Salama Mohamed Salama, a Libyan, to 25 years in prison after he was caught smuggling weapons through the Libyan-Egyptian border.

Negiotations between the armed Libyans, military intelligence and tribal chieftains are currently under way to release the Egyptian drivers and their trucks, Al Ahram said.

A series of attacks on Egyptians has prompted authorities in Cairo to give warning against travelling to Libya.

In January, five Egyptian diplomats were kidnapped by militants in retaliation for Egyptian authorities arresting a Libyan rebellion commander in Cairo. They were released as part of a swap.

In February, seven Egyptian Coptic Christians were found dead on a beach 30km west of Benghazi, shot in the head and chest by unknown attackers.

Libya's weak government has been struggling with many armed groups, who contributed in the war against president Muammar Gaddafi, and are now vying for more autonomy a bigger share of the country's wealth.

226

Source:
Ahram Online
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.