ICC Note: ISIS released 20 Egyptians from intense captivity in Libya. They were greeted by Egyptian President El-Sisi when they arrived back in Egypt, as the Egyptian government has repeatedly called on Egyptian expatriates in Libya to immediately return home with the rise of ISIS influence in Libya. Many Egyptian Christians have been kidnapped in Libya or Egypt and taken to Libya, including those in the horrific beheading video released by ISIS in 2014.
01/20/2016 Cairo (Coptic Solidarity) – Twenty Egyptians who had been held captive by Libyan militia groups were greeted by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at Cairo airport on Tuesday after their release.
“We won’t leave any Egyptians in danger in Libya or anywhere else,” El-Sisi told journalists at the airport. The president added that hard efforts, in cooperation with the Libyan army and General Hafter, had brought about the release of the twenty.
The Egyptians were abducted from the city of Al-Jufrah, 750km from Libya’s capital Tripoli, earlier this month. They come from the same village, Dakuff, in the governorate of Minya in Upper Egypt. Libya has become deeply fractured since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since the summer of 2014 it has had two rival governments and parliaments, operating from the capital Tripoli and from the east.
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For decades, Libya has been a major destination for Egyptian migrant workers due to its once booming oil economy, geographical proximity and open borders.
Last year ISIS militants beheaded 20 Egyptian Christians and one Ethiopian Christian near the Libyan city of Sirte, in a video circulated by the group’s propagandists.