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Feds confirm Canadian was taken hostage in Libya

In this March 2011 file photo, an anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in front an oil refinery in Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya.
In this March 2011 file photo, an anti-government rebel sits with an anti-aircraft weapon in front an oil refinery in Ras Lanouf, eastern Libya. AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File

Global Affairs has confirmed that a Canadian has been taken hostage in Libya.

Eariler in the week, reports emerged saying the person was taken while working at an airport in Ghat, along with two Italians.

READ MORE: Canadian reportedly abducted in Libya, government aware of ‘troubling’ news

Spokesperson Diana Khaddaj said in an email that the government will not be releasing any information on the investigation as it could compromise it.

“We are diligently pursuing all appropriate channels to obtain more information about this troubling incident,” she wrote in an email to Global News.

Hassan Osman Eissa from the Ghat municipal council told The Associated Press on Thursday that the abductors are not al-Qaeda members, as some reports stated, but rather “a local group of outlaws.”

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Eissa said a team of five Italian investigators have arrived in the town where the Italians and Canadian were abducted.

CANADIAN KIDNAPPED IN LIBYA

The mayor of Ghat told Reuters on Tuesday that the three were abducted between the towns of Ghat and Tahala, near the border with Algeria on Monday morning.

“The two Italians were working on a runway project at the airport but the Canadian was working on installing air aviation system,” he said.
“The security authorities are following the incident closely … That’s all the information we have so far.”

READ MORE: Freed Norwegian who was held with Canadians says kidnapping was ‘devastating’

Numerous criminal and armed groups are active in Libya’s vast southern desert, and al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants have long had a presence across the border between Libya and Algeria.

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*with files from Monique Muise and the Canadian Press

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