2 Bangladeshis rescued in Libya

Bangladesh mission describes how three died on Sunday, issues advisories for workers in Libya

Libyan police rescued two Bangladeshi youths yesterday, three days after they had been abducted from about 30 kilometres off Misrata, Libya.

One of the duo was 27-year-old Asad Ali Russell, whose father Abbas Ali, of Kuddra Gargaon village in Pirganj upazila of Thakurgaon, told The Daily Star over the phone that his son having been rescued called him around 4:00pm (Bangladesh time), reports our correspondent from Thakurgaon. 

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Embassy in Tripoli in a Facebook post said the army of the war-torn country was responsible for the deaths of three Bangladeshis on Sunday.

The three died in Benghazi of Libya when army personnel shot at them, suspecting that they belonged to a rival group, it said yesterday.

This contradicts the earlier version given in a foreign ministry press release.  

Following the deaths, the ministry issued the press statement, saying that the three died as they were caught in an exchange of fire between two rival militant groups.

In Thakurgaon, the father of Asad, one of the youths rescued in Libya, said that Libyan police rescued 11 people, including Asad and Ripon, by breaking into a house about 30 kilometres from Misrata town around 11:00am (Bangladesh time). Of the rest, two were Indians and seven Sri Lankan.

Before the police could catch the abductors numbering five to six people, they fled the scene leaving the migrants locked in a room.   


Officials of Al-Madina Group, employer of Asad and the other Bangladeshi, brought them to their working place following the rescue operation.          

Taking advantage of the instability in the North African country, miscreants abduct foreign workers and release them upon taking ransoms, Abbas quoted his son as saying.

Replying to a query, he said Asad would call him again at night to give further details about the incident.

Asad went to Libya in June last year as a labourer, his father said.

Asad's co-worker Shamim Hossain phoned Abbas on Saturday noon to inform him that some unidentified men abducted his son along with another Bangladeshi worker the day before from a kitchen market. Four other Bangladeshis, including Shamim, were at a nearby shop at the time. 

Shamim, 28, a roommate of Asad, said they informed the local police of the matter immediately after the abduction.


According to the Bangladesh embassy's Facebook post, army personnel asked the trio to stop when they were going past a military camp at Gowarsha of Benghazi.

Frightened, the migrants tried to flee. The army personnel then fired shots at them, suspecting that they were members of a rival group, the embassy said in the post.

To avoid such incidents, the embassy asked Bangladeshis staying in the war-ravaged country to limit their movements outside their residences and urged them not to go out at night.

It also advised migrants to carry their passports, medical certificates and identity cards provided by the employers to avoid trouble at any checkpoints by the Libyan security forces.

Migrants are also advised not to try to run away in fear in any situation.

Amid a rise in violence in the North African country, migrants facing any difficulty or danger are requested to contact the embassy on the hotline number +218-916994207. 

Meanwhile, the deceased have been identified as Abdur Rahim, son of Moslem Bepari Moni from Rajbari; Humayun Kabir, son of Shamsul Haque from Panchagarh, and Md Hasan from Jessore.

As many as 50,000 Bangladeshis have been passing a difficult time in Libya, as the security situation worsened due to fighting between factions loyal to the country's two rival governments since 2014.


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