VIENNA – A hostage from Ghana was released last month after militants attacked an oilfield in Libya and took foreigners prisoner, but six staff are still unaccounted for, their employer said on Monday.
Disclosure of the Ghanaian’s release follows reports on March 25 that two Bangladeshi citizens among the group had been released after more than two weeks in captivity.
All three were freed at the same time, Malta-based Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS) said, confirming their release by an unknown armed group that seized them in a raid that killed 11 guards.
“All three are in good health and have reported that they were treated well during their captivity,” a company statement said, hailing the “fantastic news” of their release but reiterating its commitment to get the six others out as well.
They include four Filipinos, a Czech, and an Austrian.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
“The three workers now released have been separated from their other six colleagues on the second day of their captivity and hence could not provide any further information as to the whereabouts and the well-being of their colleagues,” VAOS said, but expressed hope the information they provided may help secure the others’ release.
Foreigners have increasingly become targets in Libya’s turmoil, where two rival governments are battling for control and Islamist extremists are proliferating in the chaos that followed Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster four years ago.
Western governments are backing U.N. negotiations to end the crisis in Libya, worried that the large North African state just across the Mediterranean from mainland Europe is becoming a haven for Islamist militants.
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Libyan militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have been blamed for high-profile attacks this year involving foreigners, including an assault on a Tripoli hotel and the beheading of a group of Egyptian Christians. (Reuters)