Four Indians kidnapped in Libya

Indian officials say two of the four nationals kidnapped in war-torn Libya have been released

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Aug 1, 2015

India’s Foreign Ministry, Sushma Sawarj, has announced on Friday afternoon that two of the four nationals, who were kidnapped in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, have been released.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup said the four Indians, who had been teaching at Sirte University for more than a year, were detained some 50 km (30 miles) outside Sirte late on Wednesday as they were on their way to the airport to return back to India.

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but ISIS has a strong presence in Sirte, controlling most of the area.

"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," said the spokesman in a statement.

This is not the first time that Indian nationals have faced such an incident in the Middle East.

Forty Indian construction workers were kidnapped and have been held captive by ISIS in the war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul since June 2014. Despite all efforts by the Indian government to secure their release, the 40 have not yet been rescued.

Last July, a group of 65 Indian nurses who had been working in various hospitals in Libya were trapped due to the fighting in the country.

Libya suffers from turmoil as it is currently divided between two parliaments after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with the General National Council (GNC) administering in the country’s capital, Tripoli, and the rival House of Representatives being located in Tobruk.  

ISIS has used the chaos to expand its presence in Libya.