Dirco has 'no update' on SA man who may be abducted in Libya

2017-11-04 09:46


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Tripoli – It is still unclear whether a South African man is among the four foreigners who were abducted in Libya on Friday.

Nelson Kgwete, spokesperson for the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) on Saturday told News24, via an SMS, that there was "no update at this point".

The four foreigners were working on the construction of a power plant when they were abducted by armed men in southern Libya.

AFP reported that three of the men are Turkish, but there was confusion over the nationality of the fourth, with a local security official saying he was a German engineer and the electricity company giving his nationality as South African.

-Read: SA man may be among group of workers kidnapped in Libya

Kgwete had on Friday night told News24 that Dirco would contact its mission in Libya to follow up on the reports.

It's unclear whether the department had contacted its mission in Libya, as Kgwete did not reply to a follow up SMS asking him whether Dirco had checked with its Libyan counterparts.

"An armed group has abducted four workers of different nationalities (Turkish and South African) in Ubari, [1 000 km] south of Tripoli," the power company overseeing the project said in a statement.

It said the men were kidnapped at 11:30 local time and called for their immediate release.

The Turkish company Enka confirmed in a brief statement the kidnapping of three Turks, including two of its "employees who were in the country on a temporary mission".

At the time, the men were "outside the construction zone", it said.

Earlier, the local official said the four went missing on the road between the power station and the airport at Ubari.

The Libyan company said it deplored the incident, and added that the "strategic" power station project was "in its final phase".

The country has suffered from power shortages since the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Militias and Jihadist groups have often targeted foreign workers and diplomatic missions in the lawlessness that has swept Libya ever since.

Read more on:    north africa  |  libya  |  abductions

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