By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 8 January 2015:
Ten more Egyptians are said to be missing in Libya. They were last heard from on . . .[restrict]25 December near the town of Beni Walid. It has provoked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to call for the formation of a “crisis cell” to “secure the lives of Egyptians kidnapped in Libya”.
According to Hilal Abdelhamid, a Civil Factions Alliance coordinator from Asyut, the group of ten, all of whom come from the town of Sahel Selim in Asyut governorate, arrived in Tobruk by air on 5 December with valid residence visas.
A brother of one of the missing workers told Daily News Egypt that the group had taken a car from Tobruk heading westwards toward Zliten, and that he last heard from him on 25 December when he called to say that he had been detained by the police near Beni Walid. It was not explained why the group, if hading to Zliten would have gone to Bani Walid.
Family members were instructed not to call him back at the same number or he might be “hurt”.
Abdelhamid has since written a letter to the Egyptian Ambassador to Libya, Mohamed Abu Bakr, asking for help from the ambassador and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri in the search for the missing people. In the letter, the ambassador was informed that the detainees had been asked to pay LD 2,000 each for their release.
Over the past two weeks, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians were been kidnapped in Sirte although 13 were later reported released.
According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, a “crisis cell”, made up of representatives from the various ministries and security apparatuses that have a stake in Libya, has come together to discuss the circumstances surrounding the both this incident and the kidnappings of the 20 Egyptian Christians.
The Foreign Ministry has issued repeated warnings to Egyptians traveling to Libya, while urging those who already reside there to find ways to leave. [/restrict]