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Karte Libyen Ghat Englisch
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Three westerners kidnapped in Libya

September 19, 2016

Italy says two of its nationals have been abducted; media reports suggest a Canadian is also missing. Little is known about the location from where they were taken, or their identities.


The ministry said in a brief statement that it had learned on Monday about the abduction. But it declined to provide further details, citing the "delicateness" of the situation.

A spokesperson for the ministry later said they had been informed about the kidnapping earlier in the day and that a crisis unit was following the situation.

The ministry had no information about the reported kidnapping of the Canadian national, which was first reported by Tunisian and Turkish media.

Lybien Ghat
View of the old town of GhatImage: picture-alliance/Heritage Images/Werner Forman Archive

Italian news agencies said the mayor of the southern Libyan city of Ghat, Qawmani Muhammad, told media that the two Italians had been abducted in his city, along with a Canadian.

Ghat is located close to the border with Algeria, and is controlled by the Tripoli-based government of national unity.

Italian media said the men had been seized in the desert.

Conflicting news reports say the two Italian men work for an Italian airport construction company.

The kidnappings come amid renewed fighting in between rival groups vying for control of the country.

On Sunday, UN-backed unity government forces attempted to retake oil ports seized last week by a rival administration.

The fighting led a Maltese-flagged tanker to turn back out to sea for safety.

mm/jil (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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