CAIRO: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab ordered the allocation of an exceptional pension worth 1,200 ($160) per month to each Egyptian family with a family member among those abducted in Libya, Youm7 reported Friday.
He also ordered the provision of free health care services and accommodation in Cairo for the afflicted families, who are from Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya, until the issue is solved.
Photos of 21 kidnapped Egyptian Copts were published by Dabiq, a magazine reportedly affiliated with Islamic State (IS) group Thursday. They were reportedly kidnapped in two separate raids in the Libyan city of Sirte, now controlled by IS.
The decisions came following Mahlab’s meeting with the families of the kidnapped Friday who staged a protest outside the Journalists Syndicate demanding the government take action that would secure the return of their relatives in Libya, Youm7 reported.
During the meeting, Mahlab reassured them and promised to keep them updated with the latest developments adding that until now, the fate of abductees remains unknown due to a lack of information.
“The Egyptian authorities are monitoring the situation in Libya closely. We will do our utmost to secure their return to Egypt…… Egyptian blood is precious to all of us” said Mahlab during the meeting.
A presidential statement issued Thursday said that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered the formation of a special committee to secure the return of the abductees through contacting official and non-official authorities in Libya adding that the committee is “following the issue minute-by-minute.”
In a phone interview with ON TV channel Friday, Libyan army spokesperson Col. Ahmed Abu Zeid Al-Mismari said that news of the Egyptians abducted in Sirte has not been officially confirmed yet due to telecommunication failure with the city, currently in the hands of the armed militants.