Two Indians kidnapped in Libya

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New Delhi

Two more Indians are suspected to have been kidnapped in Libya, taking to four the number of Indian nationals being held hostage in the war-ravaged North African nation.

The ministry of external affairs in New Delhi said in a statement that the two Indians—from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh—were kidnapped from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they were working.

The unrest in Libya began in February 2011 with the spillover of pro-democracy protests from Tunisia and Egypt that resulted in the overthrow of long ruling regimes in the two countries.

Sirte is the hometown of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He was ousted and executed by rebels in October 2011 but that has resulted in widespread chaos as different warring tribal factions engage in a fight for supremacy.

Western powers say a UN deal for a unity government is the only solution to the conflict, which has pushed Libya to the edge of economic collapse.

“Our Mission in Tripoli is making further inquiries for confirmation of the incident and is in touch with the local people, who can help in securing release of the two Indian nationals. The matter has also been taken up at diplomatic level.

“All efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and secure early release of our nationals,” foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.

In July, four Indians were detained in Libya by suspected Sunni militants. Two of them were later released while two others, who were carrying Hindu idols with them, are still in detention.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of another 39 Indians who were kidnapped in Iraq last year remain unknown.

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