Libyan security forces on Friday announced the release of 18 foreigners kidnapped to obtain a ransom for their release during a raid in the western part of the country.
This came in a statement published on Facebook by the 444th Combat Brigade, affiliated with the Government of National Unity.
The statement announced: "Units from the 444th Brigade stormed four gang hideouts in the city of Bani Walid."
It noted that these gangs: "Are active in several types of crime, including kidnapping, smuggling fuel, and illegal immigration. Eighteen foreigners who had been kidnapped were released after being found in cells, some of them solitary."
The statement noted that the detainees had been subjected to torture and various kinds of "physical and moral violations" and that the kidnappers: "Had asked the families of the kidnapped to pay a ransom in exchange for their release."
The armed government battalion confirmed that it: "Managed to arrest four wanted persons during the raids and to confiscate a fuel tank that was intended for smuggling containing 40,000 litres of fuel."
This statement is the second of its kind in less than two weeks. On 10 April, the 444th Combat Brigade announced the release of 195 people of different nationalities, including 23 women and children, kidnapped for ransom by an armed gang in Bani Walid.