By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi and Tunis, 2 May 2016:
A group of 13 male and female Ukrainian medical workers is now reported . . .[restrict]to be in Brega after escaping from IS-held territory via Ben Jawad.
Much surrounding this report is still unclear and no comment could be obtained from the Ukrainian Libya embassy, currently working out of Tunis. It seems that the medics may have been trapped in Sirte when IS took over the town in February last year.
It is reported that they were smuggled in recent days to Ben Jawad where they were picked up by members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard and taken first to Ras Lanuf. It is unclear if they escaped their IS captors or had been in hiding for something over a year.
In the past Ukrainian diplomats have been tight-lipped about their nationals held in Libya, including 19 arrested in 2011 along with three Belorussians and two Russians and charged with being mercenaries. These men, who always claimed they were oil workers forced to work on some of Qaddafi’s weapons systems, were finally set free in 2014.
Ukrainian diplomats have also said little about four more men arrested during the Revolution who are still being held by Abdul Rauf Kara’s militia in a prison in Tripoli’s Mitiga airport compound.
Sirte’s Ibn Sina hospital once had a large number of Ukrainian personnel.
In March 2015, 15 Ukrainian doctors, as well as medics from India, the Philippines and Serbia were seized from the hospital. It was never made clear who had kidnapped them but they were released after diplomatic intervention and left the country. [/restrict]