Egyptians kidnapped in Libya have been killed, claims victim’s brother

The brother of one of the 15 Egyptians who were abducted and tortured by an armed gang in Libya has claimed that they have been killed by the kidnappers. According to Hamada Salah Sayed, he received a WhatsApp message, allegedly from the kidnappers, saying that his brother and his 14 companions were killed by the gang.

Although he suggested that it is now unnecessary to pay any ransom, Sayed admitted that he could not verify the authenticity of the message. It was, though, apparently sent from the same mobile number from which his brother Muhammad had called him a few days earlier to ask for a ransom to be paid to the gang in exchange for his freedom. Sayed has reported the update to the police in the province of Beni Suef, in southern Egypt, where the local governor, Sharif Habib, has said that he is in touch with the national security authorities.

Last week, social networks were used to share photographs alleged to be of the 15 kidnapped Egyptian workers with the marks of brutal torture on their bodies. The photos were sent by the kidnappers to the victims’ families via WhatsApp along with a threat that they would be killed unless every family paid 70,000 Egyptian pounds (around $3,698) as a ransom.