Libya has begun to release 149 Egyptian fishermen detained for the past month on suspicion of fishing illegally in Libyan waters, a foreign ministry official said on Thursday.
Mohamed Abbas, Assistant Minister for Consulate Affairs, Immigration and Egyptians Abroad, said 26 of the fishermen, including 11 boys, had been freed and the rest would be released as soon as their families paid an undisclosed amount of bail that Libyan authorities were demanding.
Libyan authorities seized eight fishing boats based in Egypt's Mediterranean port of Alexandria at the end of October and arrested their crews for trespassing and fishing in Libya's waters without a license.
It was the latest in a series of incidents involving Egyptian fishermen detained off the Libyan coast. In June, Libya detained 26 fishermen for two weeks before releasing them.