Egypt arrests Libyan rebel leader, Egyptian diplomats kidnapped

Shabaan Hediya, the leader of the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room, was arrested in Egypt. Hours later, four Egyptian Embassy staff were kidnapped in Tripoli.

Egypt arrests Libyan rebel leader, Egyptian diplomats kidnapped

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egyptian security agencies arrested the leader of the self-styled Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room in an area between the northwestern provinces of Alexandria and Matrouh on Friday, a security source said.

Shabaan Hediya faces charges of membership in Al-Qaeda, the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Anadolu Agency.

The security agencies had received a tip-off that Hediya had entered Egypt through the western borders, the source said.

Egyptian authorities have not yet announced Hediya's arrested.

Hours later, however, Libyan militants kidnapped four Egyptian diplomats including the administrative attaché from his Tripoli residence.

In July, the Libyan parliament entrusted the Revolutionaries Operations Room with securing the capital Tripoli, allocating 900 million dinars (roughly $7.6 million) for the group's budget.

The group, controlled by former Libyan revolutionaries, made headlines in October after the brief detention of Libyan Premier Ali Zeidan on allegations of corruption and bribery.

The detention prompted the parliament to strip the group of a mandate to impose security in the capital.

Libyans have been struggling to bring order to their control since ousting long-serving strongman Muammar Gaddafi two years ago.

Libya's revolutionaries threaten 'escalation' against Egypt

Libya's self-styled Revolutionaries Operations Room has threatened to escalate against Egyptian interests following the detention of former commander Shabaan Hediya.

Though it did not specify the type of "escalation" against Egypt, the room warned in a Facebook message against the reaction of Libya's revolutionaries over Hediya's arrest.

It went on to describe the arrest of the former commander as both "arbitrary" and "lacking any legal foundation".

Meanwhile, Libya's transitional parliament condemned Hediya's arrest, describing it as a "violation" against Libyan officials.

As news of the arrest emerged, a number of angry Libyans surrounded the Egyptian embassy in Tripoli before security forces arrived and persuaded them to disperse.

A source with the room said Hediya had resigned from the group two months ago, adding that the group was currently serving under the command of the Libyan army.

He denied any relation between Hediya and Al-Qaeda.

Libya arrests militant cell in Benghazi

Libyan security forces have arrested a militant cell in the eastern city of Benghazi.

According to the source, the cell had a "list of assassination" of some Libyan military officials.

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed on Friday during clashes with militants loyal to late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the eastern city of Benghazi.

"Libyan commandoes engaged in fierce fighting with militants in a farm in the district of Al-Hawari after receiving a tip-off that a kidnapped civilian was being held there," Libyan Special Forces spokesman Miloud al-Zoui told Anadolu Agency.

During the shootout, in which heavy weapons were used, one soldier was killed, he added.

Al-Zoui said that army troops had arrested three leaders of a pro-Gaddafi group, but stopped short of saying whether any abducted civilians were being held by the militants.

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2014, 13:34
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