Three Dutch soldiers held in Libya

09:15, March 04, 2011      

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Three Dutch soldiers have been held by the Libyan authority since last Sunday when they were carrying out a mission to evacuate two civilians, Dutch media said on Thursday.

The three soldiers traveled by helicopter from the Dutch navy ship Tromp to the city of Sirte to pick up two evacuees, including one Dutchman. They were captured by Libyan forces upon landing, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf said.

After the incident diplomatic contact with Libya was initiated immediately from the navy ship and from The Hague. This led to the two evacuees being handed to the Dutch embassy in the capital Tripoli. They have left Libya now.

The soldiers, however, are not yet released. "It's a terrible issue," Prime Minister Mark Rutte was quoted as saying. "Furthermore, I cannot say anything about it, in the interest of the captured soldiers in Libya. Only when the soldiers are back home safely, I can give more details."

Source: Xinhua

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