Libyan militiamen 'detain 250 Egyptian truckers'

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 May 2014

Egyptian truck drivers are reportedly being held in Ajdabiya to protest the prosecution of Libyan militiamen in Egypt

Libyan militiamen have detained around 250 Egyptian truck drivers to protest the prosecution of their comrades in Egypt on charges including arms smuggling.

Gamal Own, leader of a group of drivers in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya, told Al-Ahram Arabic news website the men had been taken to the north-eastern city of Ajdabiya.

Own did not elaborate on how the men were stopped, saying that he was informed about the incident by relatives of the detained drivers.

He called on the foreign ministry to secure the release of the men.

Since the 2011 revolution that ousted autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan authorities have struggled to combat brigades of former rebels and Islamist militias who have easy access to weaponry.

In April, fifty Egyptian trucks -- with drivers and passengers -- were detained after trying to enter Ajdabiya. They were released a day later.

On Tuesday, gunmen killed an Egyptian worker in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi amid an upsurge in militant attacks since the toppling of Gaddafi.

Egyptian authorities have repeatedly voiced alarm over violence against its citizens in Libya and warned against travelling to the North African nation.

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