Libyan official says 3 North Koreans freed from IS

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan official says three North Koreans kidnapped by the Islamic State group near the city of Sirte have been freed.

Muftah Salem, a Health Ministry official in the eastern town of Jalu, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the North Korean couple and their driver were kidnapped outside the central city of Sirte more than a year ago.

They had been heading to Tripoli after finishing a five-year contract at Jalu’s hospital.

Salem says Islamic State militants offered to release them for $30 million ransom but the embassy in Tripoli refused.

He says they were freed earlier this month by Libyan forces who are battling to drive an IS affiliate out of Sirte, the extremist group’s last stronghold in the North African country.

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