Egypt asks Libya to free drivers held by militia

AP News
Posted: Oct 19, 2013 11:51 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's foreign ministry says it has asked Libya to secure the release of dozens of Egyptian drivers held there by an armed militia.

Badr Abdel-Atti, a foreign ministry spokesman, said Saturday it was not clear how many Egyptians were captured when fighters stopped more than 70 vehicles earlier this week in the northern Libyan city of Ajdabiya.

Libyan security officials said about 200 Egyptian drivers were detained by the armed militia, which demands the release of their relatives arrested in Egypt on accusations of arms smuggling.

Armed militias have increased in number and force after dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. In the aftermath, Libyan weapons have flooded Egypt while authorities struggle to contain a low-level insurgency.