Unidentified armed men snatched five overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in separate incidents in Iraq and Libya.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine Embassies in Libya and Iraq reported that the abductions of the Filipino workers took place last Friday, July 6.

“The Department, through our embassies in Baghdad and Tripoli, has been informed that five of our kababayans have been taken by armed men in Iraq and Libya on Friday,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

As per an ABS-CBN article dated July 8, 2018, four Filipinas on board a car were on their way to Baghdad from Kurdistan when armed men stopped their vehicle in Uzem District, south of the city of Kirkuk in Iraq. The driver reportedly fled and abandoned his four passengers. Two of the women were able to escape and are now under police custody.

Image from DFA

According to the same report,  in Libya, armed men forcibly took three Filipino technicians along with two other foreigners and four Libyan at a waterworks project site. One of the foreigners and the four Libyans were later released by their abductors.

Secretary Cayetano said the DFA is in touch with the Libyan and Iraqi governments to seek assistance in locating and securing the release of the OFWs.