A US air strike in Libya believed to have killed a Daesh operative behind the mass murder of tourists on a Tunisian beach also killed two kidnapped Serbian embassy employees, the Telegraph quoted the Serbian Foreign Ministry as saying Sunday.
The Friday attack, which has been condemned by Libya's internationally recognized government, targeted a Daesh training camp near the Libyan coastal city of Sabratha, killing dozens of people.
Belgrade said the victims of the strike also included two employees from its embassy in Libya, who were taken hostage on November 8 in Sabratha from a convoy of cars heading to the Tunisian border.
US officials said the raid likely killed Noureddine Chouchane, also known as "Sabir," who along with other militants had been planning attacks against American and other Western interests.
Chouchane is suspected of being behind both the beach attack in July 2015 near the Tunisian city of Sousse that killed 38 tourists, including 30 Britons, and an attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 21 tourists and a policeman in March 2015. Both attacks were claimed by Daesh.
"It has just been officially confirmed that two Serbian citizens who were foreign ministry employees, Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic, were killed," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.
"They were killed by explosions, obviously we are talking about American bombs," he said, expressing "deepest condolences" to the families.
"This is the first big hostage crisis that our state has been faced with. Our people would have been released had they not been killed," Vucic insisted.
The Pentagon for its part said it had "no information" indicating that its air strike had killed the two Serbs and that the circumstances of their deaths "remained unclear".