DFA working with Libya, Iraq authorities to free abducted Filipinos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is seeking help from authorities to secure the release of five Filipinos who were abducted in Libya and Iraq in two separate events on Friday.

“The Department, through our embassies in Baghdad and Tripoli, has been informed that five of our kababayan have been taken by armed men in Iraq and Libya on Friday,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement Sunday.

The DFA statement cited initial reports from the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, saying two Filipinas were taken by unidentified armed men in Uzem District, south of Kirkuk in Iraq.

Chargé d’Affaires Julius Torres said the two women were traveling to Baghdad with two other Filipinas companions when armed men stopped their vehicle and took the four women.

Two of them were able to escape and are now in police custody, the reports said.

The statement also cited the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli saying three Filipino technicians were among four foreign nationals and four Libyans taken by armed men from a project site on Friday.

Chargé d’Affaires Mardomel Melicor said the Libyans and one of the foreign workers were later released.