Gunmen abduct Libya state news agency journalist

Journalist Younes Ali Younes was snatched near a Tripoli cafe and driven to an unknown destination

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Gunmen abducted a journalist working for Libya's state news agency LANA in the capital Tripoli, the news service's director Abdelbasset Boudiya said Tuesday, the latest in a series of attacks on the media.

Since the fall of the autocratic regime of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, the government has struggled to restore order and security.

LANA journalist Younes Ali Younes was snatched by five gunmen in military garb near a Tripoli cafe on Monday night and driven to an unknown destination, Boudiya told AFP.

"We have contacted all the security services but there is no information on his fate," said Boudiya said, denouncing the abduction as well as "threats" against journalists working for the news agency.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has repeatedly warned of the threat posed to journalists by former rebel militias that helped topple the Qaddafi regime.

Last week gunmen attacked studios in the eastern city of Benghazi of two privately-run television channels and in December the owner of a private radio station was murdered in Tripoli.

And in December, the owner of a Libyan radio station that broadcast exclusively in English was found dead, his body riddled with bullets, in the capital.

And three civil society activists were abducted in Tripoli last week, their union said.

Tensions rose further in Libya last week after the top political authority, the General National Congress, decided to extend its mandate despite opposition by a large segment of the population critical of its inability to stop the North African country's slide into chaos.

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