Italy says two Italian hostages probably killed in Libya

Italian Foreign Ministry says two of its citizens probably killed amid fighting in Libyan city of Sabratha

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A view shows damage at the scene after an airstrike by US warplanes against DAESH in Sabratha.

Italian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday two Italian civilians held hostages in Libya were probably killed in fighting, in the western Libyan city of Sabratha.

Local Libyan combat forces have been fighting in Sabratha since last week, when DAESH terrorists shortly attacked the city centre and beheaded more than 10 brigade members.

The Libyan security forces said they had killed seven suspected DAESH terrorists in a raid on a militant hideout in Sabratha on Wednesday, and later released pictures of two Western men who had also apparently been killed in the attack.

Italy’s Foreign Ministry said the men might be two of the four employees of the Italian construction company who were kidnapped last year.

The ministry named the possible victims as Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla but said official verification was difficult because they did not have access to the bodies.

On Feb. 19, US launched air strikes in which more than 40 people killed. The Serbian government said two Serbian nationals who had been held hostage since November were among the dead.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Sabratha is one of the several Libyan cities where terrorists loyal to DAESH have established a presence, taking advantage of the political turmoil that has plagued the North African country.

Italy has said it is ready to send a much larger special forces to Libya to help train local forces as soon as UN-backed unity government is established.

Italian officials said these troops would not be involved in front line operation. Any direct military operation would be ordered to defend Italian interests, such as Eni installations, they said. 

TRTWorld, Reuters