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Egypt's president wants Libya to hand over captured militant

Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 5:41 am PST

CAIRO – Egypt’s president says he wants a prominent militant captured in Libya this week extradited so that he can be “held accountable.”

Thursday’s comments by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi were the first official word in Egypt on the capture of Hisham el-Ashmawi by a self-styled Libyan military force allied with Egypt.

El-Ashmawi was captured in the city of Derna, a longtime militant bastion. He is the prime suspect in a series of high-profile terror attacks in Egypt, including a 2013 attempted assassination of Egypt’s interior minister at the time.

El-Sissi said: “We want him so we can hold him accountable.”

Libya’s chaos has enabled the rise of Islamic militants. A 2015 audio recording attributed el-Ashmawi has him proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State group’s rival, al-Qaida, led by Egyptian militant Ayman al-Zawahri.