Two Indians abducted in Libya freed

indians-aducted in Libya

In an early success in the hostage crisis, two of the four Indian teachers kidnapped in Libya by Islamic State militants have been freed and brought back safely to the University of Sirte.

The released Indians included Laxmikant and Vijay Kumar, residents of Karnataka.

“Four Indians abducted in Libya – I am happy we have been able to secure the release of Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar. Trying for other two,” India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
“Welcome news from Libya,” tweeted Vikas Swarup, the official spokesman of the ministry of external affairs.

“I hope that the other two are also released soon,” said Vijaylakshmi, whose brother Lakshmikanth was rescued.

The two Indians who continue to be in captivity are both residents of Andhra Pradesh — Gopikrishna Tiruveedula, a professor in computer science, and his colleague Balram.

Both the Central government and the Andhra Pradesh are in touch and have intensified efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages.

 “All efforts are being taken to secure their safe release. I and External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) discussed the issue this morning. She said it has come to her notice and the Government is taking all steps for their safe release. Let’s hope they return without any harm. The government’s efforts are in that direction,” said Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh.
Around 2000 Indians continue to remain in Libya even after festering violence and instability before the 2011 uprising. Prior to the uprising in Libya, the number of Indians engaged in Libya was estimated to be around 18,000.  

The kidnapping has highlighted the growing threat of the Islamic State for India and 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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