Tripoli, 15 March 2014:
The number of Egyptians seized by the authorities yesterday is now being put at 68, according to the . . .[restrict]Ministry of Interior.
The workers were detained yesterday to have paperwork and visas checked. The Libyan authorities have insisted that they were not kidnapped as reported by some media outlets.
At least 15 of the workers were about to be released, Interior Ministry spokesperson Rami Kaal told the Libyan news agency LANA today. The remainder of the detained Egyptians were still having their visas and work permits checked, as well as undergoing health checks, he said.
He added that there was good coordination between the Libyan authorities and the Egyptian embassy and that the detainees were being held in accordance with the law.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has since confirmed that 21 men have now been released. It said that diplomatic staff from the Egyptian embassy had visited the detention centre to check on conditions, adding that the majority of the detainees said they wished to stay in Libya and return to their places of work and residence. [/restrict]