Egyptian truck drivers released in Libya

Ahram Online, Saturday 17 May 2014

Around 250 drivers were detained Thursday in north-eastern Libya

Egyptians cross from Libya to Egypt through the Salloum land port gate on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 (Photo: AP)

A group of kidnapped Egyptian truck drivers were released in Libya on Saturday, according to the director of Egypt's military intelligence office in Marsa Matrouh, Alaa Abouzeid.

According to state news agency MENA, Abouzeid said that the issue was resolved due to talks between the Egyptian-Libyan reconciliation committee.

On Thurday, around 250 Egyptian truck drivers were detained, reportedly by Libyan militiamen, in the north-eastern city of Ajdabiya.

Abouzeid said that they were detained by security personnel who were demanding late wages. He added that their release came after the security personnel were promised they would be paid.

Earlier news reports claimed that the drivers were detained by armed groups in protest at the prosecution of their comrades in Egypt on charges including arms smuggling.

A spokesman for Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs reiterated previous travel warnings, saying that travel to Libya should be via plane only.

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

In April, fifty Egyptian trucks 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.


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