Libya arrests 52 Egyptian fishermen
11 January 2011, 14:52
Cairo - Libya has arrested 52 Egyptian fishermen and seized their boats, a senior official in Cairo said on Tuesday, adding Egypt was negotiating their release.
The fishermen were detained on Sunday for "illegal entry and fishing in Libyan territorial waters", Mohammed Abdel Hakam, Egypt's deputy foreign minister for consular affairs and the diaspora, was quoted as saying by the state-run Mena news agency.
Libyan coast guards escorted their three fishing boats to Benghazi, about 1 000km east of the capital Tripoli.
Egypt's consul in Benghazi has visited the detained fishermen, Mena reported.
Cairo has made diplomatic contact with Libyan authorities to secure the release of the fishermen and spare them a trial, according to a Libyan official.