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Ashmawy Expected to Be Handed over to Egypt Next Week

Ashmawy Expected to Be Handed over to Egypt Next Week

Friday, 12 October, 2018 - 06:30
Egyptian militant leader Hisham al-Ashmawy after Libyan forces said they captured him in the eastern city of Derna. AFP
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud
Leader of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar might visit Cairo next week after Egypt demanded the delivery of one of its most wanted terrorists, Hisham al-Ashmawy, captured early this week by the LNA in the city of Derna, Libyan and Egyptian sources have said.

Egyptian sources predicted on Thursday that Ashmawy would be sent to Cairo next week after Libyan security apparatuses complete their investigations into the case.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked for the militant to be returned to the country.

"We want him to serve time in prison," Sisi said during his speech at the 29th Educational Seminar of the Armed forces, titled "October; Continuity of Generations.”

Sisi also drew a comparison between Ashmawy and Colonel Ahmed el-Mansy, an Egyptian officer who was killed in clashes with terrorists in North Sinai and who was part of the same Army Special Forces unit as the newly captured militant.

The Egyptian president said there is a huge difference between Ashmawy and Mansy, stressing that both were officers, but one of them chose to betray the country, while the other remained loyal.

Ashmawy left the Egyptian army in 2012 and joined Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in the eastern Sinai Peninsula.

He is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013 and had pledged allegiance to ISIS in November 2014.

When captured in Libya this week, Ashmawy was with the wife and the sons of Omar Rifai Sorour, the Mufti of the Shura Council of Mujahedeen in Derna, who succumbed in June to injuries he had sustained in clashes with the Libyan forces.

Egyptian authorities accuse Ashmawy of heading the Ansar al-Islam network, which claimed responsibility for a deadly desert ambush against Egyptian police last October.

The Dignity Operations Room of the Libyan Army said Monday Ashmawy was wearing an explosive belt when he was captured in Derna’s neighborhood of Al-Maghar, which lies 250 kilometers away from the Egyptian border.

Libyan observers consider his arrest a blow to extremists in Libya.

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