Philippines — The Philippines has sought the help of authorities in Iraq and Libya to secure the release of five Filipinos there who were abducted by armed men in two separate incidents, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.
In a statement, DFA said that two Filipinas on their way to Baghdad were taken by unidentified armed men along a highway in Uzem District, south of Kirkuk in Iraq Friday.
The women were reportedly with two other Filipinas who escaped and are now in police custody.
Three Filipino technicians were also among the four foreign nationals abducted by armed men in a waterworks project site 500 kilometers from Tripoli, Libya Friday.
The kidnappers also took another foreign worker and four Libyans, who were later released, DFA added.
The agency did not identify the missing Filipinos.
“We are in touch with authorities in Iraq and Libya and have requested their assistance in locating and securing the release of our missing kababayan,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
There were around 4,000 Filipinos working in Iraq in 2017.
Libyan authorities said armed groups attacked another project area in southeastern Libya killing two Libyan workers there and kidnapping two others.
Abduction has emerged as a lucrative trade amid the breakdown of authority in Libya after it plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed a longtime ruler.