Seven Iranian members of the Red Crescent were abducted on Tuesday by an unknown group in Benghazi.
AFP reported: “An armed group detained at 1:00 a.m. (2300 GMT) a delegation of seven members of the Iranian Red Crescent after they left the headquarters of the Libyan Red Crescent in Benghazi.”
The incident is reportedly one of the biggest operations against foreigners in Libya since Moammar Gaddafi’s government was toppled.
The seven aid workers were abducted on their return to their hotels in Benghazi after leaving LRC offices.
The Libyan Red Crescent (LRC) has confirmed the news and announced that the seven delegates were official guests of the LRC and had entered Benghazi on Monday to assist the city.
The LRC statement says: “The Libyan Red Crescent implores the group who detained the delegation to set them free in appreciation of the aid and support given by the Iranian Red Crescent during the February 17 revolution.”
Iran has confirmed the kidnapping and has urged the Libyan government, the Libyan Red Crescent and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to take immediate action on the matter.
Early last month, the head of the Libyan Olympic Committee was abducted by armed men in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, according to a report on Al-Alam; however, he was released one week later.
More than a year after the fall of Moammar Gaddafi, Libyan cities have not been able to establish security, as armed groups have not surrendered their weapons to the government.