Italian hostages freed from Libyan Islamic State group captivity

Italian hostages freed from Libyan Islamic State group captivity
A day after two Italians were reported killed during a gun fight between their IS captors and rival Libyan fighters, the two remaining hostages held by have been freed.
2 min read
04 March, 2016
Islamist fighters have been battling IS in western Libya [AFP]
Two Italians held captive by the Islamic State group in Libya have been freed, sources have told Reuters.

Reports suggest that the hostages managed to kick down the door of a room they were held prisoner, before being rescued by Libyan militias taking part in a military campaign against IS in the Sabratha area.

The two freed hostages were said to be in good health, but have not eaten for a week.

The pair were released after two other Italian hostages held by the extremist group were killed on Thursday.

Rome said the Italians were probably during a gun battle between the captors and Libyan national security forces.

The four Italians were working for the Italian construction company Bonatti when they were kidnapped 19 July near an industrial complex owned by the Italian energy giant Eni in the western Libyan city of Mellitah.

Local Libyan fighters have been trying to win back territory from IS around Sabratha.

IS have a control over the coastal city of Sirte and have been poised to capture Libya's oil fields. They have been greatly assisted by the power vacuum that was created in Libya's civil war.

IS, however, are opposed by both militias linked to the Islamist government in Tripoli and the internationally-recognised administration in Tobruk.

Agencies contributed to this report