13 Egyptian Copts kidnapped in Libya’s Sirte
The headquarters of Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi - REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

CAIRO: Thirteen Egyptian Coptic Labors were kidnapped by Islamists in Libya’s Sirte few days after the kidnapping of seven other Coptic civilians.

A Libyan source told Sky News Arabia Saturday that 13 Copts were taken by Asnar al-Shariaa, which was confirmed by Coptic activist Magdi Malak in Minya governorate.

Malak said Saturday that the 13 workers are from Samalut city in Minya, and that 10 other Copts managed to escape and called their relatives about the kidnapping. He added that the total number of abducted Copts in Libya reached 20 people in a week.

Coptic Bishop Paul, the head of Public Relations Committee in the Coptic Church, told The Cairo Post Saturday the church is following the situation of the abducted people with the Foreign Ministry which is contact with the Libyan authorities to release them.

He declined to reveal the real number of the kidnapped Copts for their own security and to help their release.

Several media outlets reported that seven Egyptian Copts, currently living in Libya, were kidnapped by ‘Fagr Libya’ in Sirte city. Youm7 quoted the group’s spokesperson Ismail Shoukry denying its responsibility for the incident.

The corpses of three Egyptian Copts arrived Tuesday in Cairo after they were killed last week by unknown assailants in Libya’s city of Sirte.

Approximately 49 fishermen in three boats were held in Libya after authorities accused them of fishing in their territorial waters, Youm7 reported Friday.

On Sep. 2 it was reported that an Egyptian citizen was killed in Sirte after a quarrel between him and two Libyan armed men. Seven Coptic Egyptians were shot dead on Feb. 24 in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city.

On Aug. 19, a Libyan armed group, dubbed the Shura Council of Islamic Youth, executed an Egyptian national in Libya’s city of Derna.

Many Egyptian nationals were killed in Libya during the past few months; due to the security crisis, thousands of Egyptians have fled ongoing violence in Libya  following warnings from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Algeria recently opened its borders with Libya in order for Egyptian nationals to flee the violence.

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