By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 27 January 2014:
The five Egyptian diplomatic staff kidnapped at the weekend have been released today, and are . . .[restrict]now in the care of the government authorities, waiting to be repatriated to Egypt.
The release came after the arrested head of the Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room (LROR), Shaaban Hadia Al-Zawi, arrested in Alexandria on Friday, was released by the Egyptian authorities.
“All five Egyptian diplomats have been released and they are in good health,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wafa Bugaigis told the Libya Herald. She said they were now in safe hands but that she was unable to give further details for security reasons.
Bugaigis confirmed that Al-Zawi had also been released in Egypt and said the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs was now arranging the repatriation of both the Egyptian diplomats and Al-Zawi.
One of the kidnappers of the Egyptian diplomats phoned the Arab news channel Al-Arabiya on Saturday night and gave the Egyptian authorities 24 hours to release Al-Zawi.
It had been reported by Egyptian media that Al-Zawi was arrested on suspicion of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda. However, today the Egyptian Interior Ministry released a statement saying that he was arrested because his Egyptian residency had expired, raising questions about why he was still in the country. [/restrict]