Bangladeshi hostages return home after being freed by IS in Libya

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2015 11:36 AM

By Serajul Quadir

DHAKA (Reuters) - Two Bangladeshi oil workers abducted a month ago in Libya by Islamic State militants have returned home and rejoined their families in their villages, a foreign ministry spokeswomen said on Tuesday.

Muhammad Helal Uddin, 46, and Muhammad Anowar Hossain, 39, both employees of an Austria oilfield services firm, said their captors freed them after confirming they were both Muslims.

"They asked us to recite from the Holy Koran and we also said our prayers regularly," Anowar told Reuters by phone from his village 165 kilometers (103 miles) southwest of Dhaka.

"When they confirmed that we were Muslim, they assured us we needn't panic and would be released," he said. "They also asked us why we took a job in a non-Muslim company."

Anowar, who said he supervised electricians and plumbers in the oilfields, said the militants treated their hostages well but life in the hot and dry Sahara was harsh.

"We were not accustomed to that kind of life," he said, adding he returned home with no money to show for his work.

Helal was not available because he was sick, his son said when contacted from Dhaka.

Libyan militants professing loyalty to Islamic State in Iraq

and Syria have been blamed for several high-profile attacks this year involving foreigners, including an assault on a luxury Tripoli hotel and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

(Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Tom Heneghan)