Author Topic: Sept 2016: Canadian, Two Italians Reported Kidnapped in Libya  (Read 1843 times)

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Sept 2016: Canadian, Two Italians Reported Kidnapped in Libya
« on: September 20, 2016, 07:26:18 »
Usual "early reports" caveats (attached) apply ...
Quote
The Canadian foreign ministry says it was aware of reports Monday that a Canadian has been kidnapped in Libya.

“We are aware of the troubling, yet unconfirmed report of the abduction of a Canadian citizen in Libya,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Michael O’Shaughnessy said. “We are diligently pursuing all appropriate channels.”

Italy’s Foreign Ministry said it learned Monday two Italian workers were kidnapped in Libya, but declined to provide details, citing the “delicateness” of the situation.

News reports have said the two men work for a construction company in the Libyan city of Ghat, and that a third person was also kidnapped.

But the ministry said it had no information to provide regarding a third person, though some media reported that person was a Canadian national.

The statement from the Ghat municipality quoted Mayor Koumani Mohammed Saleh saying that al-Qaida was not behind the abduction.

Saleh said the abduction of the engineers was carried out by a small outlawed group ...
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Re: Sept 2016: Canadian, Two Italians Reported Kidnapped in Libya
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 06:53:48 »
A bit more detail ...
Quote
The two Italians abducted in Libya last month are thought to be in the hands of a group led by an Algerian linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) but who is acting on his own account, an Algerian security source has told the website Middle East Eye (MEE). The group is allegedly demanding a 4 million euro random for the hostages, the source added. "The group is made of Libyans and Algerians and it is led by an Algerian man. His name is Abdellah Belakahal," the source said.

The group has threatened "to surrender the hostages to AQIM or to an Islamic State's cell' if the ransom is not paid, he added. There has been no official confirmation of the reports. Bruno Cacace, 56, and Danilo Calonego, 68, were abducted together with a Canadian man named Frank on September 20 near Ghat in southern Libya.

They worked as engineers for the Italian company Contratti Internazionali Costruzioni (CO.I.COS) at the airport in Ghat.
... with word of a ransom being sought:
Quote
Two Italians and a Canadian man, who were abducted in Libya, are allegedly in the hands of a group led by an Algerian man linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb but who is acting on his own account, security sources told Middle East Eye.

The sources said that the group was demanding a ransom of 4m euros (CDN $5.6 million) for the three hostages, who were abducted on 20 September near Ghat in southern Libya.

Two Italian men, Bruno Cacace, 56, and Danilo Calonego, 68, and a Canadian man called Frank, worked as engineers for the Italian company Contratti Internazionali Costruzioni (CO.I.COS) at the airport in Ghat.

Even though the area where they were abducted is a well-known AQIM hotspot, it seems that the abductors were acting on their own account, sources said.

“The group is made of Libyans and Algerians and it is led by an Algerian man. His name is Abdellah Belakahal,” an Algerian security source told MEE.

Algerian authorities, who maintain close relationships with the Tuareg and Toubou tribes of the region, were asked by Italian authorities to facilitate negotiations between the governments and the abductors.

The Algerian security source said the Belakahal group threatened “to surrender the hostages to AQIM or to an Islamic State cell” if the ransom is not paid.

The hostage-takers also allegedly demanded, in addition to the ransom, the release of two prisoners, among them Belakahal’s brother who is in jail for arms trafficking ...
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Re: Sept 2016: Canadian, Two Italians Reported Kidnapped in Libya
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 07:16:07 »
Sounds like a happy ending to this one ...
Quote
Two Italians and a Canadian who were kidnapped in the south of conflict-torn Libya in September have been released and flown to Italy, the Italian government announced Saturday.

The Italians, Danilo Calonego, 66, and Bruno Cacace, 56, and Canadian Frank Poccia were freed during the night "due to the effective cooperation with local Libyan authorities," it said in a statement.

The three men were kidnapped on September 19 in Ghat, close to the Algerian border, where they worked for an Italian company that carried out maintenance at the airport. An armed group blocked their vehicle and took them hostage.

Italy's foreign ministry said the three arrived in Italy at around 3am (0200 GMT), but gave no details on their state of health. It was also not clear when Poccia might return to Canada ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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