CAIRO: Three Egyptian laborers, detained by militants in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, have been freed by the Libyan army, the state-run MENA reported Sunday.
Serag al-Tira, spokesperson of the Libyan army’s Military Engineering Unit said in a press release Sunday that the unit secured the release of three Egyptians and that they are being treated in a hospital before being returned to Egypt in the coming few hours.
“The three Egyptians worked for a bakery in Benghazi’s town of al-Sabry and they were held by extremist groups. The battalion discovered them while combing the area to remove the mines deliberately placed by members of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council,” said al-Tira.
The Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries is a military coalition in Benghazi composed of Islamist and jihadist militias including Ansar al-Sharia. It was initially formed in June 2014, in response both to the anti-Islamist Operation Dignity being led by Khalifa Haftar.
On Feb. 16, Egypt launched airstrikes on militant targets in Libya’s western city of Derna in response to a video that showed the beheading of 20 Egyptian nationals. Since then, many Egyptian expatriates have evacuating Libya and returned to Egypt.
So far, around 44,000 Egyptians have returned by either air or through the Sallum border crossing.