The foreign ministry said on Wednesday that two more Indian nationals have been detained in Libya, taking the number of people being held in the war-torn country to four.
The Indian mission in Tripoli had learnt that Pravash Ranjan Samal of Odisha and Ramamurthy Kosanam of Andhra Pradesh had “apparently been taken from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they had been working, and detained”, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said in a brief statement.
The statement did not say when the two men were detained or by whom.
“All efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and secure early release of our nationals,” the spokesperson said.
The Indian mission in Tripoli is making “further inquiries for confirmation of the incident and is in touch with the local people, who can help in securing release of the two Indian nationals, the spokesperson added. The matter has also been taken up at the diplomatic level.
In August, four Indian nationals – all teachers working at a university – were taken hostage in the Islamic State-controlled Libyan city of Sirte. Two of them – Lakshmikanth from Raichur in Karnataka and Bengaluru resident Vijay Kumar – were released after two days in captivity.
The others, Hyderabad’s Tiruveedula Gopikrishna and Balaram, continue to be in captivity.
The four men were detained at a checkpoint about 50 km from Sirte, the hometown of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, while they were on their way back to India.
The Islamic State has taken control of large swathes of Libya and Syria. The Indian government had advised its citizens to leave Libya in July last year.
At least 39 Indian construction workers are also missing in war-torn Iraq.
Read: Hope, anxiety, flurry of emotions for Indians abducted in Libya