The Guardian
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Bangladeshi oil workers freed in Libya


Libya_-_Location_MapTWO Bangladeshi workers kidnapped nearly three weeks ago by gunmen in Libya have been freed and are in good health, officials say.

The Bangladeshi foreign ministry said the two men were now safe in hospital in the city of Sirte. They were seized on March 6 from the al-Ghani oil field along with seven other foreigners. Islamic State militants were suspected of carrying out the abductions, but this has not been confirmed.

Helal Uddin and Mohammed Anwar Hossain were freed on Tuesday evening, officials in Dhaka said. Other foreigners seized with them were reported to include four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Czech and a Ghanaian.

BBC Bengali’s Shahnaz Parveen in Dhaka says it is not clear whether a ransom was paid to free the two Bangladeshis.

The foreigners were working for oilfield management company Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS) at the al-Ghani field. VAOS said it did not know which militants had carried out the attack or where the oil workers had been taken.

An estimated 30,000 Bangladeshis are believed to be working in Libya. Rival militias have been fighting for control of the country since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.

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