Egypt forms ‘crisis cell’ to release nationals kidnapped in Libya

A “crisis cell” to “secure the lives of Egyptians kidnapped in Libya” and work on their release was formed Monday, upon the orders of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Over the past week, 20 Egyptians, all of them Christian, were kidnapped in two separate incidents. The crisis cell convened and discussed the “circumstances” surrounding the two incidents, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The crisis cell includes representatives of all ministries and security apparatuses engaging in contact with concerned Libyan parties.
The ministry announced earlier this week it is in extensive communication with the Libyan government and local authorities in the city of Sirte after the kidnapping of several Egyptian Christians in Libya.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty met with family members of some of the kidnapped Egyptians Monday. He provided them with updates on the Egyptian efforts that are being made to follow up on the kidnappings.
The crisis cell is in permanent session to deal with the kidnappings and to follow up with the developments of the Libyan crisis.
The ministry has repeatedly issued warnings to Egyptians from travelling to Libya, given the gravity of the security conditions in the restive North African country. It further called on Egyptians currently residing in Libya to find refuge in safe areas away from clashes and stay clear from militia strongholds.
Libya is currently witnessing ongoing battles between the government and armed militias who are battling for territory and control, leaving scores dead and wounded. This has led to the collapse of the democratic transition process after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.
Due to these conditions, Egyptians have often come under attack in Libya, especially throughout the past year.

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