The spokesman of a Libyan city municipal council says authorities are investigating the abduction of three foreigners working for a maintenance company near the border with Algeria.

Hassan Osman Eissa from the Ghat municipal council told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the abductors are known to local authorities and have carried out carjackings and robberies in the past.

Eissa did not elaborate. He spoke on the phone.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction or made any demands.

The three foreigners seized — two Italians and one Canadian — were held at gunpoint along the highway linking the southwestern cities of Ghat and Ubari.

Ghat has about 30,000 people, mostly ethnic Tuareg.

Eissa says the abductors left behind the Libyan driver of the three, after handcuffing him.