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Suspected ISIS terrorists abduct 4 Indians in Libya

31 July 2015

Suspected Islamic State terrorists have abducted four Indian nationals from the Sirte in Libya.

The four Indian teachers from the Sirte University, who were returning to India from Libya, were detained at a checkpoint about 50km from Sirte on Wednesday.

The four Indians - two from Hyderabad, one from Raichur and one from Bengaluru - had been working in University of Sirte.

Gopi Krishna Tiruveedula, a professor in computer science and his colleague Balram were rounded up by suspected guerrillas before they could raise any alarm, family members said.

"They were working there for eight years and have been planning to come back to Hyderabad for some time, when this happened," Kalyani, wife of Gopi Krishna said. "They were travelling in a bus to work, when armed men accosted them and took them away," said Kalyani.

Kalyani said the authorities were in touch with the families and she has requested the Indian government to provide all help to secure their release.

The MEA said the four Indian lecturers were returning to India via Tripoli and Tunis, when they were detained at a checkpoint, about 50 kilometers from Sirte.

ISIS is active in Sirte, and have taken over vast swathes of territory.

"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.

"MEA through head of mission in Tripoli is ascertaining details," Swarup added.

Local police in Hyderabad said they were coordinating with ministry for external affairs on a regular basis.

The abduction of the four Indians comes even as the fate of 39 Indians kidnapped in June 2014 from Mosul in Iraq remains unknown.

The government maintains the men, all labourers from mostly Punjab, are still alive.

The Indian government had last year issued an advisory asking its citizens to leave Libya.

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