Seven citizens have returned home safely with the help of governments of Libya and Qatar, according to Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

The seven people were mostly restaurant employees and had been held in Libya's east.
The seven people were mostly restaurant employees and had been held in Libya's east. (AA)

Seven Turkish citizens, who were held in Libya’s east for almost two years, have been rescued.

Citizens were brought back to the country safely thanks to joint efforts of authorities, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry of Turkey on Sunday.

Turkey’s Tripoli Embassy and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) followed the case closely, and cooperated with concerned units to ensure the safely return of the citizens, it added.

"We thank the Libyan and Qatari governments, especially the related institutions that contributed to the process of the release of our citizens," the statement said.

Libya’s civil war, which continued since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, was exacerbated in 2019 when warlord Khalifa Haftar carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognised government for control of the North African country.

In April 2019, Haftar, who commanded forces loyal to a rival government based in eastern Libya, launched a wide-ranging campaign to take the capital, but his forces failed to achieve their primary goal, although they captured several strategic towns and cities in the vicinity.

In March this year, an elected transitional authority comprising of a unity government and a presidential council assumed its duties to lead the country to elections.

Amid efforts for Libya to move forward, putschist leader Haftar is still acting independently of the legitimate government and leads an armed militia that controls many areas.

READ MORE: Libyans protest against Haftar, Gaddafi presidential runs

READ MORE: Six Turkish citizens held by Haftar's forces freed in Libya

Source: TRTWorld and agencies