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Egypt considers providing transport home for Libyan-based Copts after kidnappings

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Jan 2015
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The Egyptian government is looking into the possibility of providing planes to bring home Christian Egyptians based in Libya, foreign minister Sameh Shokri said on Saturday after 13 Copts were abducted by masked assailants in the turmoil-hit country.  

Shokri’s statement came after he met with Bishop Paul of Tanta to discuss the kidnappings in the coastal city of Sirte, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news portal.

Seven Egyptians were also kidnapped from Sirte in a separate incident last week.

Bishop Paul called on Coptic Egyptians in Libya to avoid overland travel.

Several Coptic Christian Egyptians have been killed in Libya in recent years. In February, the bodies of seven Copts who had been shot dead were found near the city of Benghazi.

Egypt renewed its warning last month to citizens living in Libya. Last August, the foreign ministry also cautioned Egyptians against travelling to Libya and advised expatriates there to avoid clashes.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians work in Libya, a key destination for Egyptian migrant workers, primarily in the construction industry.

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