Thirteen Egyptian workers were reportedly abducted in Libya’s coastal city of Sirte on Saturday – purportedly by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group – a few days after seven others were kidnapped in the same city, Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported.
“ISIL militants have kidnapped 13 Egyptian Copts in Sirte – which is currently under the control of the Dawn of Libya Islamist forces – after abducting seven others in the same city last week,” MENA quoted Libyan journalist Malik al-Sharif as saying on his Facebook page.
He said that no more information is yet available about the abductions.
In November, an audio recording attributed to ISIL leader Abu Bark al-Baghdadi announced that the group has expanded to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria.
Magdi Malek, an Egyptian Coptic activist, said that “Dawn of Libya” militants raided a house in Sirte and abducted 13 Copts who hail from Egypt’s southern city of Samalut.
“Ten other Copts managed to flee,” Malek told The Anadolu Agency.
Malek said he had been informed about the incident by Copts who managed to flee.
“They [the ones who escaped] told me that the gunmen were masked, and that they said they didn’t want any Copts on Libyan territory,” Malek added.
Egypt’s foreign ministry has yet to comment on the incident.
Leaders of the “Dawn of Libya” militia could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign ministry said that it has “tasked Egyptian officials in Libya to verify the media reports claiming the abduction of several Egyptian nationals residing in Libya.”
On Tuesday, local officials told AA that an Egyptian physician and his wife had been killed in the city of Sirte by unknown assailants who also abducted their daughter.
In recent years, armed attackers believed to belong to Islamist militant groups have occasionally targeted Christians – mostly Egyptian nationals – leaving many dead and injured.