Egyptian army rescued Ethiopian workers in Libya, says president

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 May 2015

A military ‎source has however denied any direct ‎military intervention

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi welcomes the Ethiopian workers upon their arrival at Cairo airport on May 7, 2015 (Photo: State TV)

The Egyptian army freed the Ethiopian workers who arrived at Cairo airport on Thursday morning, after they were kidnapped ‎in Libya, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi ‎announced at an army seminar a few hours later. ‎

The Egyptian president, who personally received the 27 Ethiopians, all Christian, when they arrived at ‎the airport, did not explain how the army had rescued them.

A military ‎source however denied that there had been any direct ‎military intervention to free the Ethiopians, in a statement to the Ahram Arabic news website. ‎

The source added that the kidnapped workers were released after negotiations and co‎ordination between Egypt and Libyan authorities and other forces ‎on the ground. ‎

On 7 May, 13 Ethiopians arrived in Khartoum in the first successful evacuation of ‎more than 300 Ethiopian workers who registered to leave the troubled country through ‎coordination between Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Libyan government.‎

In April, the Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed the killing of 30 Christian Ethiopian workers in Libya.‎

In February, Egypt’s fighter planes hit alleged IS targets in Libya’s Derna and Sirte, after IS ‎published a graphic video online purportedly showing the beheading of 21 ‎Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya. ‎

Egypt, who supports the internationally-recognised Libyan government in Tobruk,has ‎repeatedly called for an international coalition against IS in Libya.‎

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