IS kidnaps two more Indians in Libya

IS kidnaps two more Indians in Libya

IS kidnaps two more Indians in Libya

Suspected Islamic State (IS) militants have kidnapped two more Indian citizens from Sirte in Libya.

The fresh kidnapping took the number of Indians in the custody of the militants suspected to owe allegiance to Islamic State in Libya to four.

Besides, 40 other Indians, who were kidnapped from Mosul in Iraq in June 2014, are also believed to be in the custody of the militants affiliated to the outfit.

The Embassy of India in Tripoli learnt that Pravash Ranjan Samal and Ramamurthy Kosanam, who hail from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh respectively, had been “taken” from Sirte and “detained”. Both had been working at Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated.

The MEA did not specify who kidnapped Samal and Kosanam, but sources in New Delhi stated that militants of Islamic State had detained them.

“Our Mission in Tripoli is making further inquiries for confirmation of the incident and is in touch with the local people, who can help in securing release of the two Indian nationals. The matter has also been taken up at diplomatic level,” Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the MEA, stated.

All efforts were being made “to ensure well-being and secure early release” of Indians detained in Libya, he added. The Islamic State militants took control of Sirte a few months back. Earlier, four Indians were kidnapped by IS when they had been trying to return home from the conflict-hit north African country. They were kidnapped from a checkpoint near Sirte.

Two of the kidnapped teachers, Mulbagal Vijaykumar and Lakshmikanth Ramakrishna, who are from Karnataka, however, were  released and returned home later. T Gopikrishna and Balram Kishan, who are from Hyderabad, however, have not yet been released.

New Delhi has been trying to secure their release, though it was constrained by limited manpower in the embassy. Most of the embassy officials were shifted from Tripoli to Tunis earlier this year in view of the growing instability in Libya and deteriorating security situation.

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