A Libyan militant militia detained a group of Egyptian truck drivers from Gharbia governorate in the city of Ajdabiya reported Gamal Oun, the "Sheikh” – or head – of Gharbia truck drivers on Monday.
Sheikh Oun said that more than 70 Egyptian truck drivers and their trucks were detained in the city of Ajdabiya in East Libya in an interview with CBC Extra. Oun also demanded that the Egyptian government intervene to secure their relese.
He also revealed that he contacted the tribal sheikhs in Marsa Matrouh governorate to ask them to intervene as many of the tribes in Marsa Matrouh are related to those tribes in Libya.
Abdel Hafiz Mahmoud, a member of the local council of Ajdabiya told the state-owned MENA agency on Sunday that the number of the Egyptian trucks and truck drivers detained in the city was only 30 as opposed to higher figures circulating in the media.
Mahmoud also revealed that the Egyptian trucks and truck drivers were detained by a group which is demanding the release of Libyan citizen Mohamed Salama, a local of Ajdabiya who is standing trial in Egypt.
Salama is accused of smuggling weapons and firearms across the Egyptian-Libyan border.
In August the Egyptian authorities re-opened the Salloum border crossing to allow the movement of goods via Egyptian truck drivers.
Libyan authorities demanded Egyptian drivers sign statements saying they were responsible for their own safety and the safety of their goods if they ventured beyond the Libyan city of Tobruk which is close to the Egyptian border.
The warnings of the Libyan authorities came after several cases of abduction and murder of Egyptian workers and truck drivers in Libya several months ago as well the deteriorating security situation across the country as a whole.