Kidnapped Tunisian embassy workers freed in Libya - Tunisia's envoy

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2014 3:19 PM

TUNIS (Reuters) - A Tunisian diplomat and an embassy worker kidnapped earlier this year by unknown gunmen in Libya have been freed, the Tunisian ambassador to Tripoli said on Sunday.

With Libya's government weak and its armed forces still in formation, armed groups have targeted foreign diplomats for abduction this year to pressure for the release of Libyan militants held in jails overseas.

The Tunisian diplomat who worked as an advisor to the embassy was snatched in Tripoli in April. The other embassy official was taken separately.

"The kidnapped victims have been released and they will be with their families shortly. Right now they are with us at the embassy," the ambassador, Ridha Boukadhi, told Reuters by telephone.

The Tunisian diplomat had been kidnapped just two days after gunmen also took the Jordanian ambassador after they shot and wounded his driver in the Libyan capital.

Kidnappers freed the Jordanian envoy in May after a handover of a Libyan Islamist militant who had been serving a life sentence for a bombing plot in Jordan.

Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi Libya is still struggling with insecurity and chaos with brigades of former rebels and militias refusing to disarm and often challenging the state with political demands.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Greg Mahlich)