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Libyan gunmen kidnap scores of Egyptians

150 Egyptian drivers taken hostage by Libyan gunmen, an Egyptian state-run newspaper says. 

5 April 2014, 8:31pm
Egypt has repeatedly warned its citizens against travelling to neighbouring Libya due to frequent kidnapping but better living conditions and more employment opportunities have lured many to overlook the dangers
Egypt has repeatedly warned its citizens against travelling to neighbouring Libya due to frequent kidnapping but better living conditions and more employment opportunities have lured many to overlook the dangers
150 Egyptian drivers who were on their way home from Libya were abducted by Libyan gunmen, adding to a growing trend of similar attacks, according to an Egyptian state-run newspaper.

The kidnapping comes days after Eyptian authorities sentenced Libyan Salama Mohamed Salama to 25 years in prison after he was caught smuggling weapons through the Libyan-Egyptian border

The 150 drivers were kidnapped, along with their trucks. They are now being held in Libya’s Ajdabiya district, Omran Ambewa, member of Al-Qanashat tribe - a tribe with presence in both Egypt and Libya-, told the news service.

Negotiations between the armed Libyans, military intelligence and tribal chieftains are currently underway to release the Egyptian drivers and their trucks.

A series of recent attacks against Egyptians on Libyan soil has led to authorities in Cairo to repeatedly warn its citizens against travelling to destabilised Libya, but better living conditions and more job opportunities lure many to overlook the dangers.

In January, five Egyptian diplomats were taken hostage by mitants in retaliation for Egyptian authorities arresting a Libyan rebellion commander in Cairo, before being released. A month later, seven Egyptian Coptic Christians were found murdered on a beach 30 kilometres west of Benghazi, by unknown attackers.

Libya's weak government has been struggling with many armed groups, who have contributed in the war against slain president Muammar Gaddafi, and are now vying for more autonomy a bigger share of the country's wealth.