Austria: No contact with 9 oil workers kidnapped in Libya

AP News
Posted: Mar 08, 2015 2:09 PM

BERLIN (AP) — Austria's Foreign Ministry says it has been unable to contact the nine foreigners working for Austrian oil services company VAOS who were kidnapped in Libya.

In a statement Sunday, senior ministry official Michael Linhart blamed the attack on Islamic State-allied militants from nearby Sirte, who "are known to have been behind the brutal execution of a group of Coptic Christians in the past."

Officials from Libya's internationally recognized government could not immediately be reached for comment. Officials from a rival Islamist-backed government have said they don't believe the attackers belonged to an IS affiliate.

Linhart said "there is currently no sign of life nor proof of death" from the workers, who include an Austrian, a Czech and seven non-EU citizens. He said Austria is in contact with Libyan authorities.