Egypt's foreign ministry says it's investigating local media reports that 21 Egyptians have been abducted in Libya.

The ministry said Friday that authorities are trying to verify through official and unofficial channels Thursday's reports. Egypt's El Fagr newspaper and Al Bawaba online publication were among the outlets that carried the reports. Al Bawaba said the Egyptians were staying in the southeastern Kufra region, and that communications with their families in Egypt ceased on Dec. 31.

In 2015, Libya's Islamic State affiliate beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians, showing the killings in a grisly video posted online that led Egypt to launch airstrikes against the group.

Libya slid into chaos following the 2011 toppling and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi and is now torn between two rival governments, and a U.N.-supported unity government.