(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Five Italian investigators arrived in Ghat, a Libyan town close to the Algerian border, to investigate the abduction of two Italians and a Canadian who were kidnapped at gunpoint on Monday, said Libyan officials.
Hassan Osman Eissa, a member of the southern Libyan city’s municipal council, said the team of investigators held a meeting with local authorities on Thursday. Eissa repeated a statement made by the city’s mayor that Al-Qaeda was not behind the kidnapping, instead it was “a local group of outlaws.”
Eissa added that the criminals took the three foreigners leaving behind their driver in handcuffs.
Ghat is a town located in the Fezzan region in southwestern Libya with a population of about 25,000 people, most of them belonging to the Tuareg tribe.
Since Monday, Libyan authorities have been searching for leads in an area that is not too far from a highway connecting Ghat and Ubari, in the southwestern deserts of Libya.
According to Eissa, local authorities are familiar with the abductors who are known for robberies and hijacking cars.
Libya has been strife with instability and chaos since the 2011 uprising which toppled Muammar Gaddafi’s 40 decade regime.