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May 27, 12:20 PM EDT

North Korean couple taken by Libyan Islamic State stronghold

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BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- A spokesman of a local Libyan city council says a North Korean couple has been abducted near the stronghold of the country's Islamic State affiliate.

Taher al-Zaroug, spokesman for the western city of Misrata's city council, says the couple - both doctors - were travelling from the oasis of Zallah in central Libya, where they worked for a local hospital for many years.

He says they were seized Friday near the coastline city of Sirte, where the Islamic State group has gained a foothold amid Libya's chaos in the past months.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency has not reported on the abduction.

The Libyan affiliate of the Islamic State group has captured and beheaded dozens of Christian laborers and migrants in recent months, including Egyptians and Ethiopians.

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