Libyan security forces have managed to free 15 Egyptian workers, and arrested their kidnappers after raiding a house in Ajdabiya, 150 kilometres south of Benghazi.
The Ajdabiya Security Directorate said that it received information that a human smuggling gang was based in a house in the city. The house was subsequently raided, and weapons and drugs found. Four people were arrested, and referred to the competent authorities after preliminary investigations were concluded.
In a video clip published by the Directorate, one of the kidnappers stated that they had demanded a ransom of 20,000 Libyan dinars in exchange for the release of the Egyptians.
In February, six Egyptian Copts who have been recently freed from Libya revealed the details of their kidnapping, and “days of terror until their liberation from the hands of human traffickers.”
In an interview with Al-Arabiya news on Monday, they said that they had been “kidnapped by unknown gunmen, and were been kept in a-16 square meter room, along with 35 other abductees.”
They claimed that they were “forced to share sleeping hours, due to space constraints and the number of abductees held in the room.”
As well as noting that the kidnappers “mistreated them at gunpoint, and told them that whoever tries to escape will be shot dead. We have experienced difficult moments and each one of us had a piece of bread, and a dose of water to stay alive throughout his detention.”
“The gang forced us to defecate and urinate in the detention room that we sleep at, which exposed us to difficult health conditions,” they added.
They confirmed that the kidnappers “threatened to slaughter us unless our families paid a ransom of 105,000 Egyptian pounds each.”
Hours before their release, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said it is working around the clock to secure their release.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that; the detention center “is not subject to the Libyan authorities.” The Egyptian Embassy in Tripoli has “communicated with the concerned authorities to intervene in order to release the kidnapped citizens,” it added.
The statement noted that the six Egyptians had left the country with travel permits that stipulated their presence in the east of Libya only, without going beyond. It called on all citizens not to violate the instructions related to travel to Libya.