New Delhi: Four Indian nationals, who were returning to India from Tripoli and Tunis, have been kidnapped in Libya, allegedly by the Islamic State, reports said on Friday.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup confirmed the news at a press conference and said the abductions took place on July 29 at around 11 pm.
The four Indians were abducted from a checkpoint some 50 kilometres from the city of Sirte, Swarup told a press briefing. They have now been taken to Sirte, he added.
According to the spokesperson, three of the four Indians are faculty at the University of Sirte while the fourth one works at the varsity's branch in Jufra.
While two of them hail from Hyderabad, the other two are from Karnataka - one from Bangalore and the other from Raichur.
“The MEA through the head of mission in Tripoli is ascertaining details,” Swarup said.
“The ministry is in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts are on to ensure well-being and secure the release of all four Indian nationals,” he added.
While Swarup did not say anything on who kidnapped the Indians, TV reports have claimed that the ISIS is most likely behind the kidnappings.
The Indian nationals were kidnapped from an area which is under the control of the ISIS, as per reports.
Official sources said no ransom demand has been made as yet.
The government had last year issued an advisory asking Indian citizens to leave conflict-hit Libya.