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Kidnapped Italians and Canadian freed in Libya

Two Italians and a Canadian who were taken hostage in Libya have been freed and airlifted to safety, the Italian foreign ministry has said.

Italians Danilo Calonego, Bruno Cacace and Canadian citizen Frank Poccia were kidnapped on September 19 by an armed group that blocked the vehicle in which they were travelling, the ministry said.

They were "liberated" during the night and have since arrived in Italy, Italian officials said, without giving further details.

All three men are reported to have been in Libya working as construction workers on an airport.


Thirteen people freed after being held captive by IS in Sirte

Libyan pro-government forces have been fighting IS in Sirte. Credit: Reuters

Thirteen people being held captive by so-called Islamic State have been freed by Libyan pro-government forces in Sirte.

Officials said 11 Eritrean women, a Turk and an Egyptian were freed after a battle to recapture the city's 600 block.

After a six-month campaign backed by US airstrikes, Libyan forces have taken back most of Sirte, with only one district remaining.

The city fell to IS more than a year ago after militants took advantage of infighting among Libya's rival factions to expand their territory.


117 bodies retrieved in migrant boat capsize off Libya

A member of the Libyan coastguard checks a rescue boat Credit: Reuters

The bodies of 117 migrants - most of them women - have washed up on a beach off the coast of Libya, say the Libyan arm of the Red Crescent.

It said in a statement on Facebook that workers removed 117 bodies - 75 of them women, and six children - from the beach near the city of Zwara, and that they were still looking for more.

Earlier on Friday, Navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim had said that 104 bodies had been found in waters off Zwara but the death toll was expected to rise as the type of boat involved usually carries up to 125 people.

He blamed Europe for "doing nothing but counting bodies" to stop the massive illegal migration from Libya.

The news comes hours after a major rescue operation was launched when another boat loaded with hundreds of people sunk off the Greek island of Crete today.

More than 300 people have been saved and at least three deaths have been confirmed in the latest incident.

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