Jordanian ambassador to Libya freed: Al Arabiya TV

Reuters News
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Posted: May 13, 2014 1:06 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - Jordan's kidnapped ambassador to Libya has been freed by his captors, Al Arabiya television reported on Tuesday.

The pan-Arab news channel said the Libyan foreign ministry had confirmed the release to them. Al Jazeera television also reported the news.

Al Arabiya cited Jordanian state television as saying the ambassador was on his way back to Jordan.

Ambassador Fawaz al-Itan was kidnapped last month by gunmen who demanded an Islamist militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's freedom. There was no immediate indication whether that demand had been met.

But Libya's state news agency LANA had reported that Jordan had agreed to hand a Libyan Islamist to Tripoli to secure Itan's release.

Mohamed Dersi was jailed for life in 2007 for plotting to blow up the main airport in Jordan.

Analysts have said agreeing to the kidnappers' demand could set a dangerous precedent for Jordan, which is an important U.S. ally in the fight against al Qaeda.

Kidnappings have become commonplace in Libya, with foreign diplomats often the targets.

(Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez)