TIME isis

2 Serbian Hostages Killed in U.S. Airstrikes in Libya

U.S. strikes Daesh in Libya
Hazem Turkia—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images People gather around a damaged area after U.S. warplanes carried out air strikes against Daesh training camp in western Libya on Feb. 19, 2016.

Serbia had been negotiating for their release

Two abducted Serbian embassy staffers were among the almost 50 killed in U.S. airstrikes on a suspected ISIS training camp in Libya, according to Serbia’s prime minister.

Prime minister Aleksandar Vucic confirmed Serbian communications officer Sladjana Stankovic and driver Jovica Stepic were abducted in November after their diplomatic envoy was ambushed near Sabratha, a Libyan coastal city, Reuters reports.

U.S. officials said the airstrike targeted an ISIS training camp used by up to 60 militants, including Noureddine Chouchane, who allegedly orchestrated two terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year that killed dozens of people. It was not immediately clear whether Chouchane was killed, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in a news conference Saturday that Serbia had been trying to negotiate the hostages’ release, but that ISIS demands had been “impossible” to meet. He said Serbia would send a protest note to the U.S. for not informing it about the raid.

It’s the second U.S. airstrike against ISIS in Libya in three months. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is more involved with the ISIS branch in Libya than any other, according to the UN Security Council, and the militant group has thrived in the chaos following the 2011 toppling of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

 

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Readers,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team