Four Indians kidnapped in Libya

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Four Indian teachers, who were returning to India from Tripoli and Tunis, have been kidnapped in Libya, allegedly by the Islamic State terror group (IS). Of them, two are from Hyderabad, one from Raichur and one from Bengaluru, Government said today, adding the four Indians were “detained” at a check point, about 50 km from Sirte. The area is under the control of the terror outfit. “Three of them were faculty members at the University of Sirte and one was working at the Sirte University’s brach in Jufra,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi.”We are in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and early release of the four Indian nationals,” he said. “Two days ago, on July 29th at around 11 pm, our Mission in Tripoli came to know that four Indian nationals who were returning to India via Tripoli and Tunis, were detained at a checkpoint approximately 50 kms from Sirte. Of the four Indian nationals, two are from Hyderabad, one from Raichur and one from Bengaluru. Three of them were faculty members at the Sirte University and one was working at the Sirte University branch in Jufra,” he said. The Ministry of External Affairs, through its Head of Mission in Tripoli, is ascertaining the details regarding the incident. According to information available through our sources, all the four Indian nationals have been brought back to the city of Sirte, he said. Official sources said no ransom demand has been made as yet. They said the area from where the Indians were kidnapped is under the control of the Islamic State, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria and has declared itself a caliphate. Taking serious note of the prevailing situation, the Indian government had in July last year issued an advisory asking its citizens to leave conflict-hit Libya. The latest incident came even as 39 Indians remain missing in Iraq. They were taken hostage last year at the height of the fighting between Sunni militants and government forces and efforts to get their release have not yielded any results.

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