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Egypt’s Sisi calls on Libya to hand over captured ‘dissident’ soldier

Egyptian soldier-turned-militant Hisham Al-Ashmawy [File photo]
Egyptian soldier-turned-militant Hisham Al-Ashmawy [File photo]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday said that he wanted former officer Hisham Al-Ashmawy returned to his country after his arrest in Libya.

“I call the Libyan authorities to extradite Al-Ashmawy to us [Egypt],” Al-Sisi said during the Egyptian Armed Forces’ 29th anniversary seminar which was titled “October: Communication of Generations” referring to Egypt’s 6 of October victory.

Al-Ashmawy took up arms against the Egyptian military in the Sinai desert after the coup that deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. Al-Sisi compared his detention to the death of Armed Forces commander Ahmed Al-Mansi who was killed in the Sinai.

“Both were people, and both were policemen. But one of them got confused and possibly betrayed, while the other knew what it took to protect a country,” he claimed. “One we salute, and the other, we want to catch in order to punish.”

Read: Is the UN envoy about to give up on Libya?

Al-Ashmawy, who fled Egypt four years ago, currently faces a death sentence along with 13 other jihadists, after he was convicted in absentia by a military court in 2015 after attacking a checkpoint in Egypt’s western desert where 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed.

Earlier this week, the spokesman of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Ahmed Al-Mismari, said that Al-Ashmawy “would be investigated and punished in Libya”.

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