16/09/2015 9:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Two Indians Abducted In Libya, MEA Says Efforts On To Ensure Release

Indian laborers who were evacuated from Libya because of the ongoing conflict, arrive at the International airport, in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 4, 2011, as they return home.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

NEW DELHI-- Two more Indian nationals have been abducted in Libya, taking the number of people being held in the war-torn country to four.

In a statement, the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi said that the two Indians—from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh—were kidnapped from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they were working.

"It has been learnt by our Mission in Tripoli that two Indian nationals -Pravash Ranjan Samal, hailing from Odisha, and Ramamurthy Kosanam, resident of Andhra Pradesh, have apparently been taken from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they had been working, and detained...," Vikas Swarup said, the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

Vikas Swarup said all efforts were being made to "ensure the well- being and secure early release of our nationals".

He also said that Indian mission in Tripoli was making further inquiries for confirmation of the incident and is in touch with the local people, who can help in securing release of the two Indian nationals.

The matter has also been taken up at diplomatic level.

The latest incident comes even as two Indians, who were working in a university in Sirte, remain in the captivity after being abducted by Islamic militants in July.

In August, four Indian nationals – all teachers working at a university – were taken hostage in the Islamic State-controlled Libyan city of Sirte. Two of them – Lakshmikanth from Raichur in Karnataka and Bengaluru resident Vijay Kumar – were released after two days in captivity.

The others, Hyderabad’s Tiruveedula Gopikrishna and Balaram, continue to be in captivity.

The unrest in Libya began in February 2011 with the spillover of pro-democracy protests from Tunisia and Egypt that resulted in the overthrow of long ruling regimes in the two countries.

Sirte is under the control of the Islamic State terror group, which is steadily expanding its influence in central Libya.

(With inputs from PTI)

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