An Egyptian fishing boat has been forced into Libyan waters and detained there by Libyan revolutionaries on on Tuesday. The “Qased Karim” boat was carrying 15 Egyptian fishermen and heading to Malta but was forced by Libyan revolutionaries to land in Libya’s Misrata, according to the boat owner, who was contacted via phone by one of the fishermen.
Commenting on the incident, Libyan Transitional National Council member Mohamed Jibril says he knows nothing of the boat but added that he is sure that such an act is not meant as an act of hostility against the Egyptians. He said that there is a chance that the revolutionaries had suspected that Gaddafi loyalists might be on the boat, adding that only four days earlier they had detected some of Gaddafi’s luggage being smuggled through the waterways.
Jibril confirms that Libyan rebels will immediately release the boat when they find nothing on board. he added that Libyan rebels are very keen on maintaining strong Libyan-Egyptian relations and a good international image.
So far Egypt has 29 fishermen detained in Tunisia in addition to the 15 detained in Libya. families of the fishermen have been trying to pressure Egypt’s foreign minister to interfere for their release. Ahmed El-Saiad, head of fishermen association, added that five of the fishermen detained in Tunisia have threatened to commit suicide if Egypt’s government does not interfere for their release within a week’s time.