Libya commissions 'independent figures' to communicate with kidnappers of Egyptians

Ahram Online , Wednesday 31 Dec 2014

Egypt's foreign affairs ministry has commissioned the Egyptian ambassador in Libya to work with tribal chiefs to speak with kidnappers and understand their demands

The Libyan government has commissioned Libyan "independent figures" to communicate with the kidnappers of seven Coptic Christian Egyptians who were captured Tuesday near the Libyan city of Sirte, Egypt's foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atti said on Wednesday. 

During a meeting with the families of the kidnapped workers early on Wednesday, Abdel-Atti, said that the Libyan government commissioned the figures to communicate with the kidnappers to know their demands and location.

Last Monday, seven Coptic Egyptian workers were kidnapped from a vehicle near Sirte, which is controlled by Islamist militias.

Abdel-Atti also added that the Egyptian ambassador in Libya, Mohamed Abu Bakr was holding talks with Libyan tribes to figure out the location of the kidnapped workers.

The incident closely follows the murder of an Egyptian Coptic family earlier this week

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

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

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

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