Libyan gunmen abduct 150 Egyptian truckers

Libyan gunmen abduct 150 Egyptian truckers
# 06 April 2014 01:43 (UTC +04:00)

According to a Saturday report by Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, the armed assailants detained some 150 Egyptian truck drivers, along with their vehicles while they were heading to Libya’s northeastern city of Ajdabiya.

The newspaper further said that Libya’s military intelligence and tribal chieftains are currently in talks with the attackers to secure the release of the abducted Egyptian nationals.

Saturday’s abductions took place in protest at a life sentence handed by Egyptian authorities to a Libyan national on charges of arms smuggling, according to the report.

On April 2, Cairo sentenced Libyan national Salama Mohamed Salama to 25 years in jail after he had been caught smuggling weapons through the Egyptian-Libyan border.

In a similar incident in January, armed men kidnapped four Egyptian diplomats and an embassy employee in the Libyan capital of Tripoli following the arrest of a Libyan militia leader in Egypt.

The incident forced Cairo to evacuate its embassy in Tripoli as well as its consulate in Benghazi. The diplomats were freed a few days later.

More than two years after the fall of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a popular revolution, Libya is still plagued by lawlessness and insecurity with armed groups flexing their muscles.

A powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country, the militias have been rejecting calls from a weak central government to leave Tripoli. The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.

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