CAIRO: Egypt’s crisis center is in “continuous operation” with Libyan counterparts to secure the release of Egyptians kidnapped in Libya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdel Atty said Saturday, but was unable to give further updates concerning the men.
In early January, 21 Egyptian Copts were abducted in Libya, and last week their families identified a photo of the men that was posted on a Libyan affiliate of the Islamic State group (IS).
On Jan. 13, the terrorist group published the photos of the victims, and also announced its responsibility for the kidnapping in the Libyan city of Sitre.
Abdel Atty sake of the abductees’ safety, he cannot reveal any information or details about the procedures taken by the Egyptian side.
The Foreign Ministry has also renewed its warning to Egyptians from traveling to Libya and urged Egyptian nationals living there to resort to more secured places away from those controlled by the conflicting armed militias, according to a Saturday statement.
The ministry has previously stressed that the case of the kidnapped Egyptians is a ‘priority,’ and that Egyptian officials are working hard to follow up on the crisis despite “difficult circumstances” of the absence of Egyptian representatives in the Libyan side due to security unrest.
Since August 2014, a conflict between two Islamist Libyan militias groups escalated prompting the halt of flights between Egypt and Libya. Efforts to facilitate the evacuation of Egyptian nationals in Libya were aided by international cooperation through Tunisia and Algeria, which both allowed Egyptians to enter.