CAIRO: A total of 18 Egyptian fishermen, who were sailing to Malta Island have been arrested by Libyan coast guards over allegedly breaching territorial waters, Youm7 reported Saturday.
The fishermen, originally from Delta’s governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh, were on board of a boat named “Mohamed el-Kareem.”
Ahmed Nassar, head of Fishermen Syndicate, was quoted by Youm7 denying the arrested fishermen had violated the Libyan regional waters, adding that the boat was heading for fishing in Malta Island, but the guards arrested them and seized the boat.
Dozens of Egyptian fishermen have been arrested by coast guards in Sudan, Libya and Tunisian in similar incidents; many were successfully released and returned home, while others are facing trials.
Earlier this month, a group of 15 fishermen were released after being detained for eight months in Libya. They were arrested by Islamist Libyan armed group, according to previous statements by Nassar.
Around 12 fishermen went missing after their boat sank off Sudanese territorial waters; three survivors were reportedly found. Egyptian and Sudanese militaries confirmed they combed the area and did not find any survivors.
In August, Sudan released 14 fishermen after detaining them over illegally fishing in Sudanese waters.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned fishermen against working in the territorial waters of neighboring countries with armed conflicts and not to pursue any activities in their territorial waters without a prior permission.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Soliman from Kafr el-Sheikh.