Tunisian diplomat kidnapped in Libya, prisoner release demanded

The adviser at the Tunisian embassy was taken, becoming the second Tunisian diplomat to be kidnapped in the Libyan capital within a month.

Tunisian diplomat kidnapped in Libya, prisoner release demanded

World Bulletin / News Desk

An advisor to the Tunisian ambassador in Libya has been kidnapped by unidentified militants in the Libyan capital Tripoli, a Libyan Foreign Ministry source said Thursday.

He said that the abductee, Al-Arosi Bentati, served as the main advisor to Tunisian Ambassador Ridha Boukadi.

Gunmen who kidnapped a Tunisian diplomat in Tripoli on Thursday have demanded the release of militants detained in Tunisia, its foreign minister said.

Mongi Hamdi also said Tunisia was considering reducing its diplomatic mission in Libya, where kidnappings have become commonplace, with foreign officials often the targets.

"We have been able to learn the identity of the kidnappers," Hamdi told reporters on Friday. "They belong to the family of a group of terrorists detained in Tunisia because of their involvement in attacks (three years ago) against security forces in (Tunisia's) Rouhia city."

An official in Tunisia's foreign ministry said: "We cannot confirm that he has been kidnapped but we have been unable to contact him." He said the missing diplomat works as an adviser at the Tunisian embassy in Tripoli.

"Tunisia is worried about Tunisian diplomats getting targeted in Libya," Tunisia's foreign ministry said in a statement. "We ask Tunisians for caution in Libya and to postpone travel to Libya."

The source said Bentati was the second Tunisian diplomat to be kidnapped in Libya within the last month.

On March 20, the Libyan and Tunisian media reported the abduction of Mohamed al-Sheikh, a senior diplomat at Tunisia's embassy in Libya.

Al-Sheikh was kidnapped by Libyan militants who demanded the release of detained colleagues held by Tunisia.

Al-Sheikh has yet to be freed by his captors.

The Libyan government had earlier issued instructions to beef up security around foreign diplomatic missions.

On Tuesday, Jordanian Ambassador to Libya Fawaz al-Aitan was kidnapped along with two companions.

Libya has suffered political and security instability since the overthrow of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2014, 14:06
Add Comment