Egypt attempting to verify news of Egyptians abducted in Libya

Ahram Online , Friday 8 Jan 2016

Ahmed Abu Zeid
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid (Al-Ahram)

Egypt is attempting to verify the authenticity of media reports on the kidnapping or arrest of Egyptians in Libya, the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Friday.

In an official press release, the foreign ministry's spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that following reports about the arrest or abduction of Egyptians – all from Upper Egypt's Minya governorate – in Libya, Egypt's ambassador to Libya Mohamed Abu Bakr, who is currently based in Cairo, was quick to contact the embassy's official and unofficial sources in Libya in order to confirm the news and respond accordingly.

Abu Zeid urged all media outlets and families of Egyptians in Libya to remain cautious when handling with such reports until their authenticity is verified, considering that false news has been previously circulated about the state of Egyptians in Libya.

The spokesman asserted that the Egyptian foreign ministry does not spare any effort needed to secure the return of any Egyptian citizen whose life is at risk in Libya, even though there is currently no Egyptian diplomatic mission in the country.

In February 2015, the ISIS militant group beheaded 20 Egyptian Copts on a beach the group said was in Libya's Tripoli.

Following the beheadings, Egypt, in coordination with the Libyan army, carried out air strikes against ISIS targets in Libya, killing 64 ISIS militants.

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