A 15 year-old Egyptian was reportedly kidnapped by an armed group in Libya’s troubled Benghazi Saturday, the day after Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Abdel Salam Al-Qadi visited Cairo to discuss border security and terrorism.
According to state-run news agency MENA, Menna Mohamed, an Egyptian national living in Benghazi, was abducted by unknown gunmen. MENA quoted a security source as saying investigations were underway.
Tensions between Egypt and its troubled neighbour Libya have been on the rise recently as a string of killings and kidnappings has targeted Egyptian nationals.
Seven Egyptian Coptic Christians were found shot dead on a beach in February. Masked gunmen stormed the building in which the victims were living, taking them to the Gorutha suburb west of Benghazi. Only one was able to escape.
Within a period of four days in late March, two Egyptians were shot and killed in Benghazi. Earlier in the month, another Egyptian national was gunned down in the same city.
In response to the spate of killings, Egypt issued a travel ban on Libya in March. The foreign ministry called on Egyptians in Libya to take caution during their travel within the country. It also advised them to turn to Egypt’s embassy and consulates in Libya should they face any problems.
Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Al-Qadi visited Cairo to meet with “a number of officials” to discuss boosting cooperation between the two nations, according to state TV.
Al-Qadi will be meeting with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss border protection as well as trade and economic cooperation.
Libya’s former prime minister Abdullah Al-Thani stepped down 13 April saying he and his family had been the target of an armed attack.
The security situation in Libya, which has been tenuous since the ouster of former president Muammar Gaddafi, prevented the Presidential Elections Commission from establishing places for Egyptian expatriates to vote in the upcoming presidential elections. Egyptians will be unable to vote in Syria and Somalia as well.