Two Egyptians killed by airstrike in war-torn Libya: Egypt foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Friday 27 Nov 2015

Airstrike in northern city of Ajdabiya killed two Egyptian workers

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid (Al-Ahram)

Two Egyptians have been killed in war-torn Libya, Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement late on Thursday.

According to the statement, Egypt's ambassador to Libya, Mohamed Abu Bakr, who is currently based in Egypt, confirmed that Ahmed Hassan Hagag and Magued Hassan, who were working in the northern city of Ajdabiya, were killed by an airstrike.

Media reports suggested that the airstrike was carried out by the Libyan airforce against rebels in the city, and that the two men were killed while working near the sites that were hit.

"The Egyptian embassy in Libya will finalise the proceedings of transporting the bodies of the two citizens from Ajdabiya hospital to Cairo as soon as the military operations in this area are over," the foreign ministry statement read.

The ministry has renewed its warnings to all Egyptians who are still living in Libya to stay away from areas where military operations are taking place.

For decades Libya has been a major destination for Egyptian migrant workers due to its once booming oil economy, geographical proximity and open borders.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that between 330,000 and 1.5 million Egyptians were working in Libya before the NATO-backed war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and the subsequent unrest.

Instability in Libya has prompted tens of thousands of Egyptian workers to return to Egypt, though many have remained.

Egypt renewed warnings to its citizens to avoid travelling to Libya in April.

In January, ISIS-affiliated militants beheaded 20 Coptic Egyptian migrant workers in Libya, prompting Egypt to carry out an airstrike against ISIS-affiliated militants there.

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