The Indian government is making all efforts to bring back the seven Indian nationals, who were kidnapped in Libya last month, the MEA said on Thursday.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, in his weekly press briefing, said the government is in touch with the family members of the kidnapped citizens.
“We 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,” he said.
Seven nationals from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh were kidnapped from Asshwerif area in Libya on September 14. They were working at a construction and oil field supplies company, the spokesperson said, adding that they were kidnapped on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.
The kidnappers have contacted their employer and shown photographs as proof that the Indian nationals are safe and keeping well, the spokesperson 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,” Srivastava said.
A mostly desert but oil-rich country, Libya slid into chaos and political instability following the toppling of the long-term military ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since 2014, the country has been divided by the competing rival factions based in Tripoli and the east. Globally-banned terror group Islamic State (IS) captured several coastal cities which it held till 2017 but now is confined to the interior parts of the desert.
In September 2015, an advisory had been issued by the Central government asking Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of its volatile security situation. In May 2016, the government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the much deteriorated security scenario in Libya. The travel ban is still in force.