7 Indians abducted in Libya; Centre in touch with local authorities to rescue them: MEA

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New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that seven Indians were kidnapped in Libya last month and that the Centre is in touch with the African nation to secure their release.

The External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that it was making all possible efforts to trace the abducted citizens and secure their release.

“The government is in touch with their family members and would like to assure them that we are making all possible efforts in consultation and coordination with Libyan authorities and the employer to trace our nationals and secure their release from captivity at the earliest,” he said.

The Indians hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, were working at a construction and oil field supplies company.

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Srivastava in a media briefing informed that the seven were on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India when they were abducted from a place called Asshwerif on September 14. 

“The employer has been contacted by the kidnappers and shown photographs as proof that the Indian nationals were safe and keeping well,” he said.

Srivastava said the Indian embassy in Tunisia reached out to the Libyan government seeking their help to rescue the Indian nationals.

The Indian mission in Tunisia handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya.

In September 2015, India had issued an advisory for Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there.While in May 2016, the government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

“This travel ban is still in force,” said Srivastava.

Libya, an oil-rich country in North Africa, has been witnessing large-scale violence and unrest since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s four-decade regime in 2011.

(With inputs from PTI)

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