March 2, 2020 / 6:38 PM / a month ago

Camels imported to Libya were not stolen, says owner

TUNIS (Reuters) - A herd of 3,000 camels imported to Libya last month arrived in the town of Zawiya safely and in full, their owner said after Reuters reported last month that some had been stolen on the way.

The camels were walked from the port of Tripoli along the highway west to Zawiya, 45 km (30 miles) away, late at night and a source in the town told Reuters that some had been stolen as they passed through the Tripoli suburb of Janzour.

The owner, Mohammed Amer Ishkal, said in a letter to local authorities in Zawiya that the camels had all arrived after he imported them and the town council of Janzour denied that any camels were stolen while travelling through it.

Ishkal also said in his letter that the camels were imported from Ethiopia, and not from Australia, as the merchant Reuters cited in its story originally said.

The camels were walked rather than transported by truck due to bombardment near the port. The Libyan capital has been the scene of several rounds of fighting since former ruler Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

Reporting By Angus McDowall and Ahmed Elumami; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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