Bangladesh Identifies Second Citizen Taken Hostage by IS in Libya

BD-alghani-620-March2015 The al-Ghani oil field in al-Jufrah province, north-central Libya, is pictured, March 23, 2013.

Two Bangladeshis are among at least nine workers who went missing after Islamic State (IS) militants attacked an oil field in Libya last week, Bangladesh’s government said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced Monday that one of its nationals was among the group of foreign hostages, but a second citizen taken hostage was misidentified initially as a Sudanese national, officials said.

On Monday, Bangladesh’s embassy in Libya identified the first man as 40-year-old Helal Uddin, a father of five from Madarganj upazila, in the Dhaka division’s Jamalpur district, Bangladeshi media reported.  

The next day, the embassy named Mohammad Anowar Hossain, a resident of Noakhali district, in south-eastern Bangladesh, as the second national in IS custody.

"However, Anowar's identification was confirmed by a Bangladeshi working in a neighboring oil field," Reuters quoted a statement from the ministry as saying.

Guards beheaded

On March 6, militants from IS’s Libyan affiliate stormed the al-Ghani oil field in north-central Libya and beheaded eight Libyan guards before making off with the group of foreign hostages, the Associated Press reported Monday.

According to AP, the foreigners, who work for Austrian-owned firm VAOS Oil Service, also included four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Czech and a Ghanaian. Three other Filipinos were abducted from another oil Libyan oil field last month and their whereabouts are unknown.

IS militants are notorious for killing foreign prisoners, videotaping their executions and disseminating the gruesome footage online via social media.  

Following Friday’s attack on al-Ghani, fighter jets took off from Ras Lanouf, a port on Libya’s central coast, and targeted the militants, AP quoted Libyan military spokesman Ahmed al-Mesamari as saying.

Six years in Libya

Uddin has been working in North African nation for the past six years, Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported Tuesday.

He last visited his family in Bangladesh in early 2014.

“I talked to my father over the cell phone six days ago and there was nothing wrong. After hearing the sad news through police, we are in great concern. I don't know what is waiting for him,” the Daily Star quoted his 13-year-old son, Rubel, as saying.

By BenarNews staff with inputs from news agencies and local media.


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