Serbian citizen kidnapped in Libya

Serbian citizen Miroslav Tomic was kidnapped in Libya last Saturday, a Belgrade-based newspaper is reporting on Tuesday.

Source: Vecernje novosti
(Beta/AP, file, illustration purposes)
(Beta/AP, file, illustration purposes)

The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the news for the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti.

The ministry also stated they are in constant contact with "Libyan authorities." The ministry is working with them "and doing everything to resolve the situation as soon as possible and free our citizen."

The newspaper learned that the 36-year-old Tomic, who was working in oil fields about 1,200 kilometers from Tripoli, was abducted near a a rig owned by Arabian Gold Olive Company. The rig is said to be outside the conflict zone, "and for that reason it is supposed that the kidnapping was carried out by local criminal groups who are likely to demand ransom," said the article.

The search began immediately after Tomic was reported missing, it added.

Tomic has lived in Libya for the past 20 years, and worked for the German company Ferrostaal as the only Serbian on the team. The paper said that, "according to what could be heard," he and other employees had received a guarantee they would be safe - "especially since there was security around the oil fields."

Tomic, whose family lives in the village of Brasina near Mali Zvornik, was in Serbia three weeks ago.

In November last year, two Serbian embassy workers were kidnapped near the Libyan town of Sabratha. Both Jovica Stankovic Sladjana Stepic were killed in a U.S. airstrike on an Islamic State location in February.

In mid-January, after ten months of captivity, Srdjan Babic was released from a prison in Tripoli. He is a former bodyguard of late Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was in Libya working for the French company Argus that provides physical security to diplomatic and economic missions.

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