Militia in Libya (file)
Militia in Libya (file) Reuters

The Italian Foreign Ministry on Monday reported that four Italians have been kidnapped in Libya, reports the Associated Press.

In a statement released by the ministry, it was revealed that the four were abducted near a complex of the Eni oil and gas company, located in the city of Mellitah in western Libya.

All four are employees of the Italian Bonatti construction company, according to the statement.

Italy noted that it closed its embassy in Libya on February 15 amid the ongoing violence rampant in the north African nation, and called on any remaining Italians to leave the country.

It remains unclear who abducted the Italians, although the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has been stepping up attacks in Libya and just this month targeted an Italian site in the region.

Italy was targeted in another north African country earlier this month, when ISIS launched a lethal attack against the Italian consulate in Cairo, killing one and wounding ten others. It was the first ISIS attack against a Western target in Egypt.

Back in February around the closure of the embassy, ISIS's presence in Libya hit headlines when it broadcast the brutal mass execution of 21 Coptic Christians, triggering reprisal air raids from Egypt and a mass-exodus of Egyptian workers from the country.

In March, ISIS terrorists published a video in which they vowed that their conquest in Libya will serve as a springboard for a European invasion.

The US is considering an expansion of its drone activity against ISIS in Libya, where two rival governments are battling for control and jihadists have taken advantage of the security vacuum.

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