Islamic State in Sirte releases two hostages

Libya Channel

Two foreign oil workers have been released in the central Libyan city of Sirte after being held by Islamic State militants for over two weeks.

The two Bangladeshis were kidnapped at gunpoint along with at least seven other employees of an Austrian oil service company from Ghani oilfield on 6 March.

Ghani field is located in the western part of the oil-rich Sirte Basin in an area that is easy to reach from the coast east of Sirte, where the Islamic State’s Libya affiliate – Tripolitania Province – has recently taken hold.

According to aerial footage and eyewitness reports at Ghani, IS militants arrived in armored pickup trucks from the coastal village of Nofliya and raided the camp, brutally killing 11 guards and preaching Islam to the remaining Muslim staff at the site. The militants left with nine or more foreign oil workers from Austria, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Ghana.

The incident brought the total number foreign IS hostages to at least 12, as three other Filipinos had been kidnapped from Mabruk oilfield on February 3.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the release of its two citizens, who it said were now in a Sirte hospital. It is not known whether any ransom was paid for their release. There is also no news of the fate of the remaining hostages.

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