Egyptian diplomat kidnapped in Libyan capital
The diplomat works as an administrative attaché in the Egyptian embassy
Kidnappers seized an Egyptian diplomat in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday, Libya’s foreign ministry said.
The diplomat was snatched from his house in Tripoli by an unknown group, Libyan foreign ministry spokesman Said Lassoued told AFP.
Lassoued said Libyan authorities were making “efforts to find the diplomat”, adding “reinforced security measures have been put in place around the Egyptian embassy”.
Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty also confirmed the report, saying “an administrative adviser was kidnapped.”
“The Egyptian embassy is in contact with the Libyan authorities,” he added.
A source in the mission in Tripoli told AFP that the man who was kidnapped was just an official with the embassy.
“He is not really a diplomat, even though he has a diplomatic passport,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, a security official in the Libyan capital would not rule out that the kidnapping was a response to the arrest on Friday of a prominent leader of a group of ex-rebels in Egypt.
Shaaban Hadeia, head of the Operations Centre of Libya’s Thuwar (revolutionaries), unofficially linked to Libya’s defence ministry, was arrested on Friday in the city of Alexandria on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, the source added.
The presidency of Libya’s parliament on Friday gave instructions to Libya’s ambassador in Cairo to prepare for the “immediate release” of Hadeia. It also demanded Egypt explain his arrest.
Since the fall of Qaddafi’s regime in October 2011, Libyan authorities have shown themselves incapable of restoring order and security in the country, where deadly violence is now a common occurrence.
Dozens of militia groups formed by notable ex-rebels operate outside of their control and impose their own rules in parts of the country.
The situation is especially dire in the east of the country, in the cities of Derna and Benghazi, which have become bastions of radical Islamists who are accused of being behind dozens of murders and attacks targeting Western interests and the Libyan armed forces.
Two Italians working for a public construction company were kidnapped last week in the east of the country. A South Korean trade representative was also released by Libyan security forces on Wednesday, three days after he was abducted by armed men in Tripoli.
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