World Bulletin / News Desk
Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped the nephew of renegade general Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are currently engaged in deadly fighting with Islamist militias in eastern Libya, and demanded a ransom in return for his release, a source close to Haftar's family has said.
"Mahmoud al-Zowei [Haftar's nephew] was kidnapped in Ajdabiya [in eastern Libya] on Tuesday night," the source told AA on condition of anonymity.
"Al-Zowei was riding in a private car on the Ajdabiya-Tobruk road when he was intercepted by militants who took him away," the source said.
The family has since received a ransom request for one million Libyan dinars (roughly $830,000), the source added, going on to rule out any connection between the kidnapping and Haftar's ongoing campaign against armed militias.
After serving as army chief-of-staff under late strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Haftar spent nearly two decades in the United States in exile before returning to Libya in 2011 to join the uprising against Gaddafi.
In February, Haftar prompted fears of a military coup when he appeared on television – in military uniform – to demand the dissolution of Libya's elected parliament and interim government.
Last month, Haftar declared war on armed militias operating in eastern Libya with the stated aim of "purging" the country of "extremists."
The Libyan government, for its part, has called the former general's campaign a "coup."Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2014, 14:57