Canada confirms ‘troubling’ Libya kidnapping of citizen captured with 2 Italians

The old city of Ghat is seen in Libya © Ahmed Jadallah
Ottawa has confirmed that one Canadian citizen has been kidnapped in Libya, and says it is working to obtain more information on the abduction. The citizen was captured along with two Italians last week.

In response to the kidnapping, Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign department, on Sunday said it is “diligently pursuing all appropriate channels to obtain more information.”

The department called the kidnapping "troubling," but declined to provide further details. 

“The Government of Canada will not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts to secure their release or endanger the safety of Canadian citizens,” a spokeswoman told Reuters in an email. 

The Italian Foreign Ministry previously confirmed that two Italian citizens were also kidnapped.

The abduction of the three victims was reported by Libyan authorities last week, at which point the Canadian government called the report “unconfirmed.” 

The victims, who were working on airport projects, were taken between the towns of Ghat and Tahala, near the border with Algeria, last Monday, according to Ghat’s Mayor Gomani Mohamad Saleh. 

It remains unclear who is responsible for the kidnappings, or what the victims’ current circumstances are. 

Libya is home to various criminal and armed groups which are active in the southern desert. Al-Qaeda-linked militants have also long held a presence along the border between Libya and Algeria.