North Korean doctor and wife kidnapped by IS militants

May 25, 2015

By Kang Seung-woo

A North Korean couple has been abducted by Islamic State militants in Libya, a local media outlet reported, Sunday.

According to the Libya Observer, IS militants kidnapped a North Korean doctor and his wife last week in Al-Noufleya, eastern Sirte, when they were on their way to Tripoli after finishing their duty in Jalu Hospital. It added that the couple’s driver was released later.

A source from inside the hospital indicated that the sixty-year-old North Korean doctor has been working in Jalu for years, reaffirming that the North Korean embassy is keeping a round-the-clock contact with different parties to find out the couple’s whereabouts, the report added.

Yonhap News reported that there was a rumor that a North Korean doctor was kidnapped, but there is no reason for the abduction by the IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), citing a source familiar with the North African country.

Sirte is a home to deceased Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and a stronghold to Ansar al-Sharia, another Islamist militia group.

Some 300 to 400 North Koreans reside in Libya where they were sent to earn foreign currency.

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