New Delhi: Four Indian teachers have been kidnapped in Libya by militants in Libya, agencies report.
Two of them are from Telangana and the other two from Karnataka. They were abducted by suspected ISIS militants from Sirte, a town near the national capital of Tripoli, on Thursday evening.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the hostage situation in Libya.
The ministry of external affairs Friday said the four had been teaching at a university in the national capital of Tripoli for the past one year. No ransom demand has been made yet, officials said.
NDTV quoted its sources as saying that the Indians were kidnapped from an area that is under the control of the Islamic State, which has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria and has declared itself a caliphate.
“We came to know at 11 pm that four Indian nationals who were returning to India via Tripoli were detained at a checkpoint approximately 50 km from Sirte,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
“According to our sources all four were brought back to Sirte. We are in regular touch with their families and all efforts are being made to ensure their early release,” Swarup said.
The Indian government had in July last year issued an advisory asking its citizens to leave conflict-hit Libya. The kidnapped Indians had ignored the warning, said the officials.
At least 39 Indians remain missing in Iraq. They were kidnapped last year at the height of the fighting between Sunni militants and government forces. The Indian government says they are all safe.