Friday’s impromptu U.S. airstrikes on a western Libya Islamic state camp killed dozens of people among them two Serbian embassy staff members that had been held hostage since November last year.
According to Serbia Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, an officer in charge of communications; Sladjana Stankovic and a driver; Jovica Stepic, were among those killed in the attack. The two were held hostage in November after their convoy of diplomats, including the Serbian ambassador in Libya was attacked near the city of Sabratha, one of Libya’s coastal cities.
Vucic clarified that apparently the Americans weren’t aware of the presence of foreign citizens that were being kept thereby.
Elsewhere while addressing a press conference in Belgrade earlier, Serbia’s minister of Foreign affairs Ivica Dacic said information about the deaths of the two Serbians was availed to Serbia by some foreign officials but was since to be confirmed by the #Government of Libya.
‘Yes, we were availed the information, including pictorial proof that this most probably happened,’ Dacic stated.
The American F-15E bombers on Friday struck the Islamic training camp on the outskirts of Libya it’s border with Tunisia, killing many people, most probably including a targeted IS operative suspected to be responsible for the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year, according to a statement by America and local officials.
In his statement to the media, Dacic said that his nation, Serbia was aware of where the hostages were and had been working around the clock to get them back, adding that Libyan officials were seriously considering an operation to set them free.
In November last year, armed men attacked a convoy of vehicles that were escorting Serbia’s ambassador to neighboring Tunisia and kidnapped the two embassy staff members. During the attack, Oliver Potezica the Serbian ambassador, his wife, together with their two sons escaped unhurt.
Since the 2011 overthrow of Libya's longtime President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has fractured into several camps hostile to one another supported by former rebels and tribal groupings.