Militant suspect wanted by Egypt nabbed in Libya

Eastern Libyan forces arrest Hisham al-Ashmawy wanted by Cairo for suspected Islamist militant activities, will probably hand him over to Egypt after probe is over.

BENGHAZI - Eastern Libyan forces on Monday captured a former Egyptian special forces officer wanted by Cairo for suspected Islamist militant activities, a Libyan military spokesman said.

Hisham al-Ashmawy, one of Egypt's most wanted men, was apprehended in Derna where eastern Libyan forces are fighting jihadists, said Ahmed Mismari, spokesman of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls Libya's east.

Ashmawy will be probably handed over to neighbouring Egypt after Libyan security officials have completed an investigation, he added.

The LNA published a picture of Ashmawy with blood on his face.

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

Egyptian officials also accuse the network, which they link to al-Qaeda, of an assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013.

Ashmawy's network has mounted a recruiting campaign among former officers in recent years and is seen as more dangerous than militants operating in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, according to Egyptian intelligence and security sources.