Two Italians abducted by militants in southern Libya

Two Italian nationals were abducted Monday by militants in Libya's southern town of Ghat near the border with Niger, a local official told dpa.

"As they were heading to their work at Ghat airport, [gunmen in] two cars ambushed them ... firing shots before abducting them," said Jamal Suliman, a member of the municipal council.

The Libyan driver of their car was later found tied up on the side of the road. He recounted the story to Suliman and other officials, Suliman said.

The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the abductions had taken place but gave no details about their identities or exactly where they were captured.

The two work for an Italian company helping to build the runway of a new local airport.

Ghat is controlled by the Tripoli-based unity government.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction but similar incidents have previously been claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Libya has descended into anarchy since longtime dictator Moamer Gaddafi's overthrow in a 2011 uprising.

Islamic State has taken advantage of the chaos and established a foothold in the oil-rich country.

Last update: Tue, 20/09/2016 - 09:40
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