14 Egyptian fishermen released from Libyan custody

Ahram Online , Friday 3 Apr 2015

Libyan border guards release 14 Egyptian fishermen after three months of detention

File photo of Egyptian fishing boat (Photo:Al-Ahram Arabic website)

Fourteen Egyptian fishermen were released from Libyan custody on Friday after three months of detention following their illegal entry into the country's waters, Egyptian news agency MENA reported.

The fishermen were detained by border guards in Sirte on December 2014. Afterwards, they were transported to Misrata seaport, one of the released fishermen- Sabry Al-Qady told MENA.

“The fishermen were arrested as they did not have the needed licence that allows them to fish in Libyan territorial water,” said Colonel Reda Eissa, an official from the Libyan border guards.  

Eissa also said that Libya has been taking extra security precautions with all fishing boats due to the current security crisis in the country.

Since the 2011 toppling of dictator Muammar Ghaddafi, rival militias have been battling a weak central government for control.

Libya is a key destination for Egyptian migrant workers from rural areas, particularly in the construction and craft industries.

Instability in Libya has prompted many Egyptian workers to return to Egypt, while others have remained.

In February 2015, 20 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped by militants in Libya were shown being beheaded by Islamic State militants in a video that was publisehd online. The incident prompted thousands to return home.

Egypt's government has warned against any travel to Libya and advised those residing in the North African country to stay away from areas of tension.

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