13 Egyptians freed from kidnappers in Libya: army spokesperson

Ahram Online , Tuesday 14 Feb 2017

13 Egyptian workers freed after being kidnapped in Libya

The Egyptian army announced on Tuesday the successful release of 13 Egyptians who had been kidnapped in Libya.

The army said it coordinated the captives' release with the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter.

In its statement, the army said the captives -- migrant Egyptian workers -- had been kidnapped by militant criminal gangs.

In January, the families of the workers staged a protest in Cairo demanding that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi intervene to bring their relatives home.

Fifteen workers were reported kidnapped at the time. In its statement on Tuesday, however, the army announced the release of only 13.  

In 2015, Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs began urging citizens to avoid travel to Libya due to unstable security conditions following the killing of 20 Egyptian migrant workers near Derna by the Islamic State militant group.

The warning was renewed in 2016 and is still in effect.

Despite the government's warning and Libya's difficult economic conditions, Egyptian workers continue to migrate to the country. 

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