ROME (AP) — Three foreign workers, including two Italians, were kidnapped in southwestern Libya Monday, Italy's Foreign Ministry and officials in the town of Ghat said.
The ministry said in a brief statement that it had learned about the abduction. It declined to provide further details, citing the "delicateness" of the situation.
A statement by the media office of Ghat municipality said that foreign engineers, who worked for construction company CON.I.COS, were abducted by unidentified assailants on the road linking Tahala and Ghat early in the morning. It gave their names as Italians Bruno Cacace and Danilo Calonego, and a Canadian identified only as Frank.
The statement quoted the head of the Ghat Municipal Council Koumani Mohammed Saleh as saying that al-Qaida is not behind the abduction.
"The abduction of the engineers was carried out by a small outlawed group," he was quoted as saying.
He also said that officials are working on securing their release. The incident, the statement said, is "unprecedented" in Ghat.
Global Affairs Canada spokesman Michael O'Shaughnessy said that "We are aware of the troubling yet unconfirmed report of the abduction of a Canadian citizen in Libya. We are diligently pursuing all appropriate channels."