4 Indian Teachers Kidnapped In Libya

31/07/2015 11:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
MOHAMMED ABED via Getty Images
A Libyan man walks past a damaged building in Sirte on July 6, 2012 on the eve of the elections for the General National Congress. Libya's election on July 7, could well bring Islamists to power, but liberals under the leadership of the architects of the revolt that ousted Moamer Kadhafi say they too are confident of a win. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW DELHI -- Four Indian teachers have been kidnapped in Libya, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday morning.

The Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Indian mission in Tripoli learnt about this kidnapping on July 29 at 11:00 p.m. Two Indians are from Hyderabad, one is from Raichur and the fourth is from Bengaluru.

Swarup said that all four teachers were making their way back to India through Tripoli, but they were detained at a checkpoint 50 kilometers from Sirte, which was dictator Muammar Gaddafi's home city in the northern part of the conflict-ravaged country.

"According to our sources all four were brought back to Sirte," Swarup said. "We are in touch with their families. All efforts are being made to ensure their early release."

Three Indians were teaching at a university in Sirte, and the fourth was stationed in Jafra, he said.

While the Indian government has not identified the culprits, the Islamic State (ISIS) group, which controls Sirte, a port city west of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast, are suspected to have carried out the kidnapping.

The Indian government has not received a ransom demand yet, NDTV reported.

ISIS has captured vast tracts of land in Iraq and Syria. The Indian government is still trying to find 39 nationals who were kidnapped in Mosul, last year.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V K Singh has said that the Indian government was in "close and regular" contact with the Iraq government to obtain information about the missing Indians.

This is a developing story. Please check back for details.

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