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Czech, Austrian, others missing after Libya oilfield attack

Libya’s rival factions this week held United Nations-backed talks in Morocco in an effort to form a unified government

Published: Updated:

Several foreigners including a Czech and an Austrian are missing after gunmen attacked the Al-Ghani oilfield in Libya this week, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Libya’s oil security forces said on Friday they had retaken control of the oilfield after militants attacked the facility, killing seven guards.

"There was a Czech citizen present at the spot, who has been missing since," the ministry said in a statement.

"Together with him, an Austrian citizen is unaccounted for as well as several other persons from third countries." There was no immediate indication of how many other non-Libyans were missing.

The ministry said a crisis committee including Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and secret services had met to discuss the situation, and a Foreign Ministry representative would be dispatched to the region as soon as possible.

In Vienna, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said a 39-year-old Austrian working for an oilfield management company went missing after an attack on a field on Friday.

The spokesman declined to give the name of the missing Austrian or his company.

Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has put together a crisis group of Interior Ministry and Defence ministry experts to deal with the situation. Austrian authorities are in touch with Libyan officials, the spokesman said.

Austrian energy group OMV, which operates in Libya, has no Austrian employees in the country at the moment, a spokesman for OMV said.