Kidnapped Egyptian envoys released in Libya

Tripoli, Jan 27: The Libyan interior ministry Sunday received the five Egyptian envoys who were abducted in the past two days in the Libyan capital of Tripoli after the kidnappers released them, al-Arabiya TV reported.

One kidnapper told al-Arabiya on phone that they made a deal with Egyptian authorities that the latter would free their leader in exchange for the envoys’ release, Xinhua reported.

“The diplomats have been sent to the interior ministry,” the kidnapper said without revealing his identity. “We do not want any problems with our neighbours, especially Egypt. We just want the release of Abu Obeida El-Zawy.”

The Libyan government has not yet commented on the report.

According to Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online, El-Zawy, the leader of a militia group called Operations Room of Libyan Revolutionaries, was arrested in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria by Egyptian police Friday. He is allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in October.

Libya’s General National Congress, the nation’s supreme legislative authority, Friday evening demanded immediate release of El-Zawy.

Four Egyptian embassy staff members, including a cultural attache, were kidnapped Saturday in Tripoli, following the abduction of another Egyptian diplomat in the Libyan capital Friday night hours after El-Zawy was arrested.

Egypt evacuated all its embassy staff from Tripoli Saturday after the kidnapping of its envoys occurred.

IANS