Libya: Journos' kidnapping raises tensions

2012-07-11 11:19

Tripoli - The kidnapping of two Libyan journalists as they covered elections in the town of Bani Walid, a last bastion of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, has raised tensions in the North African nation.

The country's interim authorities have called for their release but so far without any result.

"We urge their immediate release and handover to state authorities," said Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur late on Tuesday.

The two journalists, Yussef Badi and Abdelqader Fasuk, were detained in Bani Walid while they were covering Saturday's historic elections for the Misrata-based Tobacts television channel.

The incident, warned Abushagur, serves only "those who want to sow discord and spoil the joy of the Libyans celebrating successful elections and the first step towards building a new Libya".

It has exacerbated tensions between Misrata, a city on the Mediterranean which suffered a brutal siege in the 2011 conflict that toppled Gaddafi and now boasts significant military might, and Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli.

Former rebels from Misrata have threatened to attack Bani Walid if the two journalists are not set free.