Water plant workers killed, kidnapped in Libya


Suspected Islamist militants killed two workers and kidnapped two others at a water plant in south-eastern Libya early, the second attack targeting water facilities in two days, officials said.

“An armed attack carried out by terrorist groups on the Tazirbu site caused havoc, looting, killing and terrorising families, children and the workers who ensure the supply of water to cities,” said a statement from the Great Man-made River Project, a pipe network supplying ground water from the Libyan Sahara.

An engineer and a guard were shot dead and two guards kidnapped in the raid, which the statement said bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State militants’ attack. Assailants stole cars and supplies as well, the statement added.

On Friday, members of an unidentified armed group kidnapped three Filipinos and a Korean employed as technicians at the Al-Hassouna plant, part of the same water network connecting desert wells to towns and cities in northern Libya.

The Al-Hassouna and Tazirbu sites are about 1,000 km apart.

Separately, an Islamic State publication, Al Naba, said it captured two air force officers from forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

It published a picture of the two men handcuffed in orange jumpsuits and said they were taken to Waddan, in Libya’s central desert.

Officials from Haftar’s Libyan National Army could neither confirm nor deny the report.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State carried out operations across Libya. Islamic State lost its coastal stronghold of Sirte to local forces backed by US air strikes in 2016 and in recent months militants have been active in remote desert areas.