Egyptian national shot dead in Benghazi in militia crossfire

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

An Egyptian worker was shot dead when he was caught in the crossfire during militia battles in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, reported Egyptian state news agency MENA on Wednesday.

Ahmed Al-Hashemi’s body was taken to the Benghazi medical centre morgue and the relevant authorities contacted, reported MENA.

“We remain deeply concerned about the security and political situation [in Libya],” said Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty. He confirmed the ministry was aware of the death of an Egyptian national but could not provide further details.

The ministry said on Tuesday evening that it was also following up on the continued detention of several Egyptian trucks on the road to Ajdabiya in the east of Libya. Contact has been made with the “government, popular and tribal leaders, and members of the House of Representatives for the release of these trucks”, said the ministry statement.

The Al-Salloum border crossing between Egypt and Libya was closed on Wednesday and is to remain closed over the Eid Al-Adha holiday at the request of the Libyan authorities due to the suspension of work on the Libyan side of the border, according to MENA.

Egypt has expressed its concerns about security in Libya following a summer of upheaval in the neighbouring state. The emergence of rival governments has been accompanied by a deteriorating security situation in many of the large towns and cities, including the capital Tripoli and Benghazi. Different militia groups are fighting for control of the major population centres, with the Islamist group Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) seizing Tripoli airport at the end of August following intense fighting.

The Islamist dominated General National Congress was due to hand power over to the elected House of Representatives in June but instead announced the selection of its own prime minister and the formation of a rival government.

Egypt, along with other countries neighbouring Libya and major players in the international community, including the United States, United Kingdom and France, have expressed their backing for the House of Representatives.

Libya was a major talking point during the 69th United Nations General Assembly held last week in New York. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the situation in Libya with his international counterparts, including US Secretary of State John Kerry. Shoukry participated in a discussion on the issue including the African Union Peace and Security Council member states.

Shoukry also attended a conference to discuss the situation in Libya, which was held in Madrid in September.

Egypt has sought to strengthen border security as unrest in Libya threatens a potential spread across the border. The border with Libya is often used to smuggle weapons and other contraband into Egypt.


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