New Delhi: Seven Indians hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh were kidnapped on September 14 in the strife-torn North African nation of Libya but are “safe and keeping well”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday, adding that the Indian Government is making all efforts to secure their release.
The MEA said, “Seven Indian nationals, hailing from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, were kidnapped at a place called Asshwerif in Libya on 14 September. They were working at a construction and oil field supplies company and were kidnapped on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.”
The MEA added that “...the employer has been contacted by the kidnappers and shown photographs as proof that the Indian nationals were safe and keeping well. The government is in touch with their family members and would like to assure them that we are making all possible efforts, in consultation and coordination with Libyan authorities and the employer, to trace our nationals and secure their release from captivity at the earliest.”
New Delhi further said, “Our Embassy in Tunisia, which handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya, has reached out to the Libyan government authorities concerned, as also the international organisations present there, to seek their help in rescuing the Indian nationals.”
It added, “In September 2015, an advisory had been issued by the Government of India for Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there. Later, in May 2016, the Government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the much deteriorated security situation. This travel ban is still in force.”