2 Italians freed from Islamic State in western Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya -- The head of Sabratha council said two Italian hostages were freed on Friday from Islamic State group custody in the western Libyan city.

See Full Article

Hussein al-Zawadi told The Associated Press that Gino Pollicardo and Filippo Calcagno were freed from a house in a northwestern district of Sabratha. The area has seen fierce fighting between IS fighters and Sabratha's local forces, a coalition of militia and forces loyal to the government in Tripoli.

The Italians had managed to break down the front door themselves, and local fighters came to their aid after being tipped-off by neighbours, al-Zawadi said.

He said the Italians were in a "good condition" although they had not eaten in a week.

"They are in a safe place now and undergoing medical treatment," al-Zawadi said. "They will be transferred to their country sometime soon," he added.

He also confirmed that two other Italian hostages had been killed in recent clashes between IS militants and Sabratha's local forces.

On Thursday, the head of the so-called "Sabratha Media Center" said the local militia fighting Islamic State group ambushed two IS cars in a desert highway, 35 kilometres (22 miles) south of Sabratha, killing all nine people in the vehicles. The bodies of the two Italians were later found, with weapons in their hands, said the head of the media centre, Esam Krair.

"We will contact the Italian authorities and hope they recover the bodies for investigation," added Krair.

The four Italians -- the two escaped hostages and the two found killed -- were working for the Italian construction company Bonatti when they were kidnapped July 1 near an industrial complex owned by energy giant Eni in the western Libyan city of Mellitah.

Last month, Serbian officials said that U.S. airstrikes on IS positions there killed dozens of militants as well as two Serbian hostages.

Later in February, a militia loyal to the Islamist-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, said it had arrested the leader of the Islamic State branch for Sabratha after IS tried to take over the city, storming its security headquarters and beheading at least 12 militiamen.

Libya fell into chaos following the 2011 toppling and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Since 2014, its divisions have only increased. It split into two governments and parliaments -- the internationally recognized one in the country's east, and an Islamist-backed one in Tripoli.

Each side is backed by an array of different militias. IS has surged in the chaos, claiming responsibility for a series of deadly attacks as it tries to expand its territory and take control of oil terminals and fields, the sole source of Libya's wealth.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • London police arrest 2 more in subway bombing investigation

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British counterterror police arrested two more people Wednesday in relation to the London subway attack, bringing the number to five. Detectives arrested a 48-year-old man and a 30-year-old man under the Terrorism Act in Newport, Wales. Source
  • Colorado cops search for poop-and-run jogger

    World News CTV News
    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Police in Colorado are looking for a jogger they say is repeatedly interrupting her runs to defecate in public in one neighbourhood. Cathy Budde says she was first alerted to the woman she's dubbed "The Mad Pooper" by her children, who caught the jogger in the act weeks ago. Source
  • Catalan officials arrested in Spain over secession vote

    World News CTV News
    MADRID - Spanish police arrested 12 people Wednesday in raids on offices of the regional government of Catalonia, news reports said, intensifying a crackdown on the region's preparations for a secession vote that Spain says is illegal. Source
  • Liberal support holds despite tax change attacks

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberals have come under fire for their proposed changes to the tax system from the opposition, small business owners, doctors and even members of their own caucus. But it's had no impact on their standing in the polls. Source
  • Used-car nightmare leaves Montreal-area woman on hook for $30K

    Canada News CBC News
    When Stacey Attey bought her second-hand SUV last year, it had everything she wanted. The 2013 Nissan Rogue had low mileage, Bluetooth and a great price — $13,500. Her mechanic confirmed it was mechanically sound with no stolen parts. Source
  • Air force eyes resale value of Super Hornets even before deal is done

    Canada News CBC News
    If Canada ever buys Boeing Super Hornet jet fighters, it would be better off with the two-seat variant because they would fetch a better price on the resale market, military planners told the commander of the air force earlier this year. Source
  • Shariah and rules that govern religious practices in other faiths are not to be feared, spiritual leaders say

    Canada News CBC News
    MPs on the Commons heritage committee continue their study today on how to eliminate systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada — work that was required by a motion passed last spring. Motion M-103, which called on the House of Commons to condemn Islamophobia, sparked petitions, concerns about free speech and allegations it was a step toward bringing Shariah law to Canada before it passed in March. Source
  • Impact of Merkel's 'great gamble' on refugees goes beyond the ballot box

    World News CBC News
    When Germans go to the polls in parliamentary elections this Sunday, their chancellor, Angela Merkel, will finally know whether what's been called her "great gamble" was worth it. Two years ago, when she decided to open Germany's door to almost one million refugees, her critics said it would be the death knell of her political career. Source
  • 'Welfare payments' or 'blood money'? Pressure grows on Palestinians to end 'salaries'

    World News CBC News
    An oversized poster of Mohammad Abu Shahin is pasted to the white living room walls inside the sparse apartment his family rents in the Qalandia refugee camp, near Ramallah. His family enlarged the photo days after Abu Shahin, 32, turned himself in to Israeli authorities, admitting he killed an Israeli man. Source
  • Trump's bashing at UN poses problems for North Korea strategy

    World News CTV News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's threat before the world to obliterate North Korea left no doubt about his determination to stop the communist country's nuclear weapons buildup. His disparagement of the Iran nuclear deal in the same speech offered Pyongyang little hope of a negotiated solution. Source