An additional 21 Egyptians were claimed missing in the Libyan city of Misrata early on Sunday, following reports of the death of 21 Copts in Libya.
Head of the fishermen’s syndicate in Kafr Al-Sheikh Ahmed Nassar said in a call to the ONTV satellite channel that communications with 21 fishermen who were held in custody by the Libyan Islamist Libya Dawn factions have stopped for three days.
Nassar said that the fishermen were detained by the Islamist factions two months ago, but they were told they would be deported to Egypt after investigating their papers.
He added that the fishermen who hold official work permits were in contact with their families in Egypt, but such communications stopped three days ago.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Daily News Egypt that the ministry has the fishermen’s information, and will verify their situation after communicating with Libyan officials.
“A crisis cell is convened and all agencies are working together to clarify the situation of Egyptians in Libya,” he added.
Another 21 Coptic Egyptians were kidnapped at the start of the year in the Libyan city of Sirte, but their fate remains uncertain. Statements from the Libyan parliament and the “’Islamic State’” in Libya state that they have been killed. On the other hand, the Egyptian authorities have not confirmed their deaths.
The Libyan legislative body said that the workers were killed by the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’, in the city of Sirte, according to state newspaper Al-Ahram.
The Egyptian government has asserted that it “will spare no effort for the kidnapped”.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb met with the families of kidnapped workers on Friday. The meeting came following photographs published by ‘Islamic State’, allegedly of the 21 abducted Copts in Libya in red execution suits, guarded by personnel in black clothes and swords.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called Saturday the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and confirmed that he is personally following the case, and that all the state’s agencies are exerting maximal efforts to verify the situation.