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Six Christians kidnapped in Libya freed

by Kelly Valencia

A group of Christian men kidnapped and then illegally detained in Libya have been freed.  

The six men were ravelling to the North African country in early February when they were attacked and transported to an unknown location. 

The lawyer for the men's family said they intended to work in Libya.

On Friday, Egypt's foreign ministry's spokesman confirmed their release and said plans for their return to the country had been made. 

The ministry said the men had been held at a detention centre for migrants near the western city of Zawiya, an area controlled by militia groups. 

While no other details about the release have been given, it's understood the Lybian militia had contacted the men's family to ask for a ransom, with some local media reporting approximately £2,600 in exchange for each of the hostages.

The men's abduction occurred just a few days before the anniversary of the murders of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State (IS) fighters in Libya on 15 February 2015.

The victims were declared 'national martyrs' while the Coptic Orthodox Church designated 15 February as Contemporary Martyrs Day. 

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