Libyan gunmen free Egyptian hostages

Armed group had held more than 50 Egyptian trucks in Libya's northeast to protest against prosecutions by Cairo.

    An armed group has freed more than 50 Egyptian trucks in Libya's northeast, following a protest over prosecution of members of the group on arms smuggling charges in Egypt.

    The vehicles were released on Saturday, after drivers and passengers had been waiting on the side of the road for a day, according to Rami Kaal, a spokesman for the country's interior ministry.

    Gunmen had prevented the trucks from entering the city of Ajdabiya on Friday, Kaal said.

    He added that trucks carrying perishable goods were allowed to pass.

    Egypt's state-run Al Ahram newspaper earlier reported that 150 trucks had been taken hostage.

    The incident came 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.

    Egypt's foreign ministry said it was in contact with Libyan authorities over the incident and renewed warnings to Egyptians not to travel to the country.

    Gunmen briefly kidnapped six Egyptian diplomats and embassy employees following the arrest of a Libyan militia leader in Egypt in January.

     

    SOURCE: AP


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