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Government Doing ‘Everything’ to Resolve Croat Hostage Situation in Egypt

TS

Foreign Affairs Minister Vesna Pusić

The Croatian government is doing everything to resolve “the difficult situation” of a Croatian citizen abducted by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group which is threatened with his execution within 48 hours unless the Egyptian government meets their demands, the Croatian Foreign and European Relations told Hina on Wednesday…
“The Croatian government and the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry are doing everything to resolve the difficult situation of the Croatian citizen T.S. as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

“Given the very difficult and sensitive circumstances at this moment we are not at liberty to give more detailed information,” the ministry said.

The man, identified as 31-year-old Tomislav Salopek, was abducted while travelling to work for a French company on 22 July.

In a video posted online by the jihadists, the Croatian appears kneeling at the feet of a hooded man holding a knife. He reads from a sheet of paper that he will be executed within 48 hours if the Egyptian government fails to release Muslim women held in prisons.

“I am 30 years old and I come from Croatia,” Salopek said dressed in orange robes, typical for IS prisoners.
He said he was married to Natasa with two kids and that he worked for Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG). Salopek confirmed that he was abducted by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group who want to trade him for Muslim women in Egyptian prisons.

“Soldiers of the Islamic State in the Caliphate of Wilayat Sinai caught me on Wednesday July 22,” says Salopek as he reads from the paper.

“They want to swap me for Muslim women arrested in Egyptian prisons. This must be achieved before 48 hours from now. If not, the soldiers of the Wilayat Sinai will kill me,” continues Salopek as the video comes to an end.
Wilayat Sinai is the name currently used by the IS-affiliated Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based terrorist organisation that has been responsible for dozens of attacks in Egypt since the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

Salopek was kidnapped on Wednesday morning when his vehicle was stopped by armed men.

His car was stopped by an armed group who forced the driver to leave the car and then took off in an unknown direction.

According to the Croatian Foreign Ministry, this was the first kidnapping of a Croatian national abroad. (hina)

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