Bangladesh names second citizen held in Libya oilfield attack

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 10, 2015 7:24 AM

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh on Tuesday identified a second citizen among a group of foreign workers taken hostage last week by the Islamic State militant group in an attack on a Libyan oilfield.

Foreigners have increasingly become targets in Libya's turmoil, where two rival governments are battling for control and Islamist extremists have grown in the chaos that followed Muammar Gaddafi's ouster four years ago.

Up to 10 foreign workers were missing after the attack on the Al-Ghani oil field south of the city of Sirte, Czech and Libyan officials have said.

There has been no sign of the oil workers from Austria, the Czech republic, Bangladesh, the Philippines and at least one African country who went missing, an Austrian foreign ministry spokesman said.

Bangladesh's foreign ministry on Tuesday identified the second abducted citizen as Mohammad Anowar Hossain, a resident of Noakhali, about 165 km (103 miles) southeast of Dhaka, the capital.

He had mistakenly been identified as a Sudanese national with a similar name at first, the ministry added.

"However, Anowar’s identification was confirmed by a Bangladeshi working in a neighboring oil field," it said in a statement, adding that Libyan officials had assured the embassy in Tripoli they were making every effort to rescue the men.

Libyan militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have been blamed for high-profile attacks this year involving foreigners, including an assault on a Tripoli hotel and the beheading of a group of Egyptian Christians.

Militants this month also stormed and damaged several Libyan oilfields around al-Ghani, forcing the government to declare force majeure, pull out workers and shut down production on 11 oilfields in the central Sirte basin.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)