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Sudanese security free 5 Egyptian troops kidnapped in Libya

The 5 freed Egyptian soldiers escorted by Sudanese and Egyptian security officers to board a plane in unknown location on 30 July 2018 (ST Photo)
July 30, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday said it has freed an Egyptian force abducted by Libyan gunmen on the border triangle among Libya, Sudan and Egypt.

Director of Information Department at the NISS, Mohamed Hamid Tabidi told reporters at Khartoum Airport that Libyan gunmen have abducted an Egyptian army officer and four soldiers from the border triangle and took them inside the Libyan territory.

Tabidi described the rescue operation as “qualitative operation that took several days”, saying it was carried out in close coordination between the NISS and the Sudanese army military intelligence.

“The force has been handed over to the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate and they are in good health condition,” he said

“This operation indicates the extent of the continued qualitative and close coordination between the intelligence services in both countries,” he added

However, Tabidi didn’t elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the Egyptian military troops or the nature of the kidnappers who he described as “outlaws”.

Meanwhile, the Sudan Media Center (SMC), a website close to the NISS, quoted an intelligence source as saying the Egyptian force has been freed in early hours of Monday in a special operation that has been carried out under the direct supervision of the NISS director, Salah Abdalla Mohamed (aka. Gosh).

For its part, the Egyptian army has thanked the Sudanese army for its help in “returning a missing military patrol”.

The Washington-based Al-Hurra TV has quoted an Egyptian security source as saying the Sudanese security services had “freed” Egyptian troops “captured by a Libyan armed group” on the border between Sudan, Egypt and Libya.

The same source pointed out that the Egyptian force includes an officer and four soldiers.

Sudan and Egypt have recently developed joint security cooperation.

On Monday evening, the five military Egyptians arrived to Khartoum airport where they were received by NISS Director Salah Gosh.

Last March, Sudan’s Ambassador to Egypt Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim said his country proposed to Egypt to establish a joint force to protect the border between the two countries.

Last year, Egypt deployed large military forces on the borders with Libya and Sudan in Jabal Al-Awinat district in order to deter any terrorists’ infiltration.

Following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year-rule in 2011, Libya has slid into chaos and has become the most important transit country for illegal migrants to Europe.

Also, radical Islamist groups and rebels from Darfur region are active on the border triangle.