4 Indians abducted in Libya: Is it handiwork of ISIS

Indians abducted in Libya

More than a year after 39 Indians were kidnapped in Iraq by ISIS militants, four Indians have now been kidnapped in Libya. The barbaric ISIS is said to have kidnapped four Indians, who are all teachers, at Sirte town near Tripoli, the capital city of Libya.

The four Indians who were abducted belonged to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Raichur in India. Three of them were faculty members at the Sirte University and one was working at the Sirte University branch in Jufra.

“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 kms from Sirte,” said India’s external affairs ministry (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup. He added that the external affairs ministry through its mission head in Tripoli is ascertaining details.

The spokesperson added that all the four Indian nationals have been brought back to the city of Sirte. “We are in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and early release of the four Indian nationals,” he added.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has briefed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the hostage situation in Libya. The MEA is in regular touch with the family members of the hostages. More details are awaited on the ground situation of the hostages held.

The identities of kidnappers are yet to be confirmed, but initial reports suggest that it could be work of the Islamic State, which has declared to establish a self-style Caliphate. The kidnapping has coincided with the outing of an internal recruitment document of ISIL which showed the group was preparing to attack India and draw the United States into war.

The internal recruitment document was translated into English by a Harvard scholar and was verified by senior intelligence officials. If ISIL manages to attack India, it would raise its stature and threaten the stability of the region, according to Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA official.

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