Egyptian Christians held in Libya freed, tribal leader says

Islamists in Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya — Thirteen Egyptian Christians held in Libya have been freed, a tribal leader said on Monday after government sources reported they had been abducted by Islamist militants.

However, Muftah Marzuq, head of the council of elders in the coastal city of Sirte, insisted that the 13 had not been kidnapped, but had been detained by people-smugglers.

“The Egyptians were held by a group that deals in illegal people-smuggling, because of a dispute involving money and transportation to the Harawa region east of Sirte,” Marzuq said.

News of their disappearance emerged on Saturday when a source close to the government accused the Ansar al-Sharia Islamist militant group of having kidnapped the 13 Coptic Christians in Sirte.

The source said seven other Egyptian Christians had also been seized over the past few days in Libya…

Why are they in Libya at all? Apparently they were looking for work.