| 29 May 2020, 00:00 | Update : 29 May 2020, 08:59
At least 26 Bangladeshi migrants in captivity were shot dead overnight in what it appeared to be an attack by hostage takers at a Libyan town while their 11 other compatriots were wounded, foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said.
“Our Ambassador in Tripoli confirmed us that 26 Bangladeshi nationals were shot dead in Libya,” Momen told BSS adding 11 other Bangladeshis were being treated in hospital with injuries.
He said there were 38 Bangladeshis in captivity at a hideout at the town called Mizda, 180 km south of capital Tripoli, while only one of the fellow inmates visibly could escape unhurt as the killing spree began.
According to the report from Bangladesh embassy in Tripoli the man eventually conveyed the Bangladesh mission in the troubled country about the massacre.
Momen said the survivor told the embassy officials that the human trafficking gang was torturing Bangladeshi nationals for more money.
According to the survivor the virtually enslaved Bangladeshis killed one of the traffickers and resulting in the revenge attack by members of the gang.
The Bangladesh embassy in a subsequent memo sent to the foreign ministry said the Bangladeshi who escaped unhurt the carnage took refuge at the home of a “generous Libyan” from where he contacted the mission.
“He told the embassy that miscreants captivated 38 Bangladeshis including him for ransom as the traffickers were escorting them to Tripoli from Benghazi across the desert 15 days ago to explore works for livelihood,” read the memo, a copy of which was made available to BSS.
He said at one point of tortures the hostages killed the “main kidnapper” as a sequel of which the revenge attack came in the form the carnage.
The memo said the bodies of the dead were now kept at a MIzda hospital, where the wounded Bangladeshis were being treated as well “with bullet wounds on their back, chest, hand and leg”.
It said director of the facility informed the embassy that a process was underway for “subsequent measures” as the bodies were kept in morgue in line with the Libyan law.
The embassy memo said steps were underway to shift the wounded Bangladeshis to Tripoli Medical Centre (TMC) for better treatment.
“Once the wounded ones reach TMC, the embassy officials will meet them to gather the detailed information and to unearth the identities of the dead,” it said.
The memo assured the foreign ministry that the embassy would provide “maximum assistance” for the treatment of the wounded Bangladeshis.
Reuters earlier quoting Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) confirmed the massacre saying 30 migrants were killed in the attack with the rest four being of African origins.
“We have just learned of this tragedy and are following up to get more details and provide assistance to survivors,” the news agency said quoting Libya spokeswoman for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Safa Msehli.
But GNA said the family of a Libyan people trafficker killed the 30 migrants in revenge for his death and added that 11 wounded survivors were taken to a hospital in Zintan.
Turkish AA news agency quoting Libyan interior ministry further that the family of the assassinated trafficker took revenge that resulted in “the death of 26 people of Bangladeshi nationalities and four Africans, and left 11 others injured”.
The ministry, it said, instructed security authorities to arrest the perpetrators and take all legal measures.
Libya is a major point for irregular migrants heading to Europe across the Mediterranean while the war-ravaged African country itself Libya was long been a destination for migrants because of its oil-funded economy.