Two Indian hostages detained in the city of Sirte were released Friday. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed the release in a tweet.
The released hostages are among four Indian nationals who were detained in Libya. Sirte, the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi's hometown, is in a region controlled by Islamic State militants.
Swaraj tweeted that the government was trying to free the other two hostages as well. “Four Indians abducted in Libya - I am happy we have been able to secure the release of Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar,” she posted on her verified Twitter account. The hostages still in captivity are identified as Balram and Gopikrishna.
Balram’s wife received a phone message from Lakshmikant that confirmed the safety of the two hostages released Friday. “We are safe here in Sirte University do not worry," NDTV quoted the message.
The hostages have been working at the university for more than a year. They were detained at a checkpoint Wednesday while on their way back to India. Gopikrishna's wife, Kalyani, said her husband had told her that he would get back to India via Tunisia. While he did not have a visa, he had a permission letter, she said.
The Hindustan Times reported that the released hostages were from Raichur and Bengaluru in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The government of Andhra Pradesh, another South Indian state, asked Swaraj to speed up the process of bringing all four hostages safely. The other two hostages are reportedly from Hyderabad and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.