LIBYAPROSPECT – Sabratha
The mayor of Sabratha municipality, Hussain Dawady, announced the release of 2 Italian national abductees, who were abducted last July, 2 days after news spread about murder of 2 other Italian abductees.
Dawady said that the abductees were released in a raid on several houses after security authorities received information about existence of the Islamic State group (IS) members in them.
Officials confirmed that the two men to be in a good health. The 4 Italians worked for Bonatti Italian Constructions Company and were abducted near Eni Oil and Gas Company.
On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said that the two other persons who accompanied the freed abductees had probably died in a firefight, on Wednesday, in Sabratha. Their bodies have been taken to Tripoli for eventual repatriation.
The Libyan security forces attacked the Islamic State (IS) militants in Sabratha, on Wednesday, and a speaker later said that two of the Italians were shot dead by the group shortly before the attack.
Italian officials believe the four Bonatti workers were taken by a criminal gang hoping to secure a ransom.
Corriere della Sera newspaper reported on Friday that part of a ransom had been handed over prior to Wednesday’s attack. There was no immediate official confirmation of this.
Italian officials have said that Italy sent some 40 secret service agents to Libya in recent weeks, with an additional 50 special forces operatives set to join them.