The seven Indian nationals, who were kidnapped in Libya, have been released, as per the Indian ambassador to Tunisia. The seven men hailing from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, were kidnapped from Asshwerif in Libya on September 14.
The Indian Embassy in Tunisia and its ambassador coordinated efforts and were in touch with Libyan authorities and international organisations to secure the release of the seven men.
What happened on Sept 14 at Asshwerif?
They were working at a construction and oil field supplies company. The Indians were kidnapped at a place called Asshwerif on September 14 when they were on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.
Previously, India had confirmed that seven of its nationals were kidnapped in Libya last month and that it was working to free them. The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson had said that the kidnapped workers are safe and the Indian mission in Tunisia is in touch with the Libyan government for efforts to free them.
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during a press conference, "Our Embassy in Tunisia, which handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya, has reached out to the Libyan government authorities concerned, as also the international organisations present there, to seek their help in rescuing the Indian nationals. The employer has been contacted by the kidnappers and shown photographs as proof that the Indian nationals were safe and keeping well."
Other incidents of Indians kidnapped in Libya
This is not the first time that an Indian is being kidnapped in Libya. India does not have an embassy in Libya and the Indian mission in Tunisia looks after the welfare of Indians in Libya.
- In 2014, 39 Indian workers were abducted by the Islamic State group in Libya from the Iraqi city of Mosul.
- In 2015, four Indians were kidnapped and later released.
- In September 2016, two other Indians held captive by the Islamic State group were released.
In September 2015, an advisory had been issued for Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there. Later, in May 2016, the Government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the much-deteriorated security situation. This travel ban is still in force.