SA paramedic among four foreigners abducted in Libya – Dirco confirms

2017-11-04 16:30


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Tripoli – A South African is among four foreigners who were abducted by armed men in Libya on Friday, the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) confirmed on Saturday.

Dirco spokesperson Nelson Ngwete told News24 that the department has confirmed the kidnapping.

“A South African citizen based in Libya called the department to report that a fellow South African has been kidnapped in the southern desert city of Ubari, Libya, along with Turkish nationals,” Ngwete said.

The South African man worked as a paramedic in Libya, he said.

The South African embassy was working with Libyan authorities to free the hostages.

“The embassy will attempt to get the hostages freed unharmed as soon as possible,” he said.

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

"An armed group has abducted four workers of different nationalities (Turkish and South African) in Ubari, [1 000km] 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:    libya  |  abductions  |  north africa

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