20 Egyptian drivers in Libya stranded, not kidnapped: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Feb 2014

Foreign ministry spokesperson says that 20 Egyptian truck drivers stuck in Libya were not targeted and are being well-treated

Badr Abdel Ati
Badr Abdel-Ati, a ministerial spokesman (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Some 20 Egyptian drivers in Libya are stranded near the city of Ajdabiya and not kidnapped, Ambassador Badr Abdel Ati, spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed to Ahram Online.

Earlier Wednesday Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that 20 Egyptian drivers were kidnapped by dozens of gunmen in Libya.

Abdel Ati said a number of members from the Libyan Armed Forces blocked the coastal road near the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, in eastern Libya "for personal reasons." "So the Egyptians are not the target; they have been just travelling on the road and got stuck there," Abdel Ati told Ahram Online.

Ambassador Ali El-Ashiri has said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been closely monitoring the situation and in contact with all families of the truck drivers, Al-Ahram Arabic news reported.     

Libyan authorities stressed that the Egyptian drivers have been dealt with in very respectful way, Al-Ahram Arabic news reported.

Meanwhile, state owned news agency MENA reported that an official source in Ajdabiya also underlined that no Egyptians have been kidnapped and only that 20 Egyptian trucks have been stuck on the Tabrak-Ajdabiya road in east Libya.

The source added that there are some soldiers from the Libyan Army who did not get their salaries, so decided to cut off the road.

The drivers incident comes in the wake of the kidnapping of five Egyptian Embassy staff in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, including the cultural attache, after an Egyptian administrative attache was abducted 24 January by unknown gunmen.

The five Egyptian diplomats were freed on 27 January, and arrived safely to Cairo.

Egypt evacuated its remaining diplomats from Libya following the kidnapping.

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