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Foreign oil workers kidnapped in Libya

Islamic State militants have kidnapped a group of foreigners in a raid on al-Ghani oil field in Libya. The nine foreigners worked for the Austrian oil field management company VAOS.

Four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Bangladeshi, a Czech, a Ghanaian and one unidentified individual were abducted in an attack on a Libyan oil field last week, a spokesman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry said Monday, adding that they were alive when taken.

"We know that they were not injured when they were transported away from the al-Ghani oil field," the spokesman added.

The ministry said that there are still "no signs to indicate whether the abducted foreigners are dead or alive."

4,000 Filipinos still working in Libya

According to the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose, seven Filipinos have been abducted in the North African state so far, together with three workers seized in the Al-Mabruk oil field last month.

Bangladesh also confirmed one of its citizens being taken as a hostage by Islamic State.

Libyan army spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said he had no information about the missing foreigners, but he confirmed that the number of attacks has increased in recent weeks.

All of the foreigners worked for Austrian oilfield management company Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS).

"We are working in very close cooperation with the crisis team of the Austrian foreign ministry," VAOS said in a written statement, noting that it did not know where its employees had been taken to.

Libya has been wracked by conflict

for the past four years with rival governments and militia fighting for control over key cities and the country's oil riches.

jil/gsw (Reuters/AFP)

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