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Two of 4 Indians abducted in Libya released, says MEA

31 July 2015

Two of the four Indians abducted by the Islamic State terror group (IS) in Libya, Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar, were released today, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet.

Swaraj said the government is working on the release of other two Indians who are still being held hostage.

''The ministry of external affairs, through its head of mission in Tripoli, is ascertaining the details regarding the incident. According to information available through our sources, all the four Indian nationals have been brought back to the city of Sirte,'' MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The four Indian teachers, who were returning to India from Tripoli and Tunis had been kidnapped in Libya, allegedly by the IS.

Of them, two are from Hyderabad, other two are from Karnataka, Government said today, adding they were "detained" at a check point, about 50 km from Sirte. The area is under the control of the terror outfit.

"Two days ago, on July 29th at around 11 pm, our mission in Tripoli came to know that four Indian nationals who were returning to India via Tripoli and Tunis, were detained at a checkpoint approximately 50 km from Sirte. Of the four Indian nationals, two are from Hyderabad, one from Raichur and one from Bengaluru. Three of them were faculty members at the Sirte University and one was working at the Sirte University branch in Jufra," MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said here.

Official sources said no ransom demand has been made as yet. They said the area from where the Indians were kidnapped is under the control of the Islamic State, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria and has declared it a caliphate.

In view of the emerging situation, the Indian government had in July last year issued an advisory asking its citizens to leave conflict-hit Libya.

Meanwhile, 39 Indians taken hostage last year at the height of the fighting between Sunni militants and government forces remain missing in Iraq.   

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