Gravesites of 4 Filipino oil workers kidnapped, killed by Isis located
MANILA, Philippines — The gravesites of four Filipino oil workers kidnapped and later executed six years ago by Islamic State (Isis) extremists in Libya have been located with the help of local authorities, the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli said Tuesday.
The embassy, in its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., said it was able to confirm the location of the remains at a cemetery in the coastal city of Derna in eastern Libya on Monday.
Libyan military authorities led embassy officials to the Dahr Ahmar Islamic Cemetery 10 kilometers from Derna, according to the embassy.
“After six long years, the families of our four kababayan will finally find closure,” Embassy Chargé d’Affaires and Head of Mission Elmer Cato said.
On March 6, 2015, six oil workers, including four Filipinos and two others from Austria and the Czech Republic, were seized and killed by ISIS militants who attacked the Ghani Oil Field in southern Libya.
According to Cato, nothing much had been heard from the kidnapped oil workers until two years after their abduction when a video showing their execution was found in a laptop seized from slain Isis fighters in Derna.
The six oil workers, who were employed by the Austrian contractor Value Added Oil Services, had since been presumed dead although their bodies were never recovered, he added.
Cato said the embassy was informed in 2018 that the remains of the four missing Filipinos could be among those that have been recovered by the Libyan Red Crescent in various parts of Derna and later buried there.
But due to the unstable security situation there, the embassy could not send a team to Derna to search for the four Filipinos, Cato said.
It was only in October 2020 that embassy officials were able to travel to Benghazi and request the assistance of authorities in finding the four Filipinos.
Cato said the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Migrant Workers Affairs has conveyed the latest development to the families of the four Filipinos and will make arrangements for forensics experts to assist in identifying the remains and bringing them home.
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