Libya deputy minister freed after brief kidnapping

2015-01-26 16:31

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Al-Baida - A Libyan deputy foreign minister was released on Monday, a day after his kidnapping by gunmen in the eastern city of Al-Baida where the recognised government is based, his ministry announced.

"Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan al-Saghir has been freed," a ministry official said, without giving details. Saghir himself, contacted by AFP, said only that he was fine.

Gunmen kidnapped Saghir from his hotel room in Al-Baida, 1 200km from Tripoli, before dawn on Sunday, telling staff they were members of the security forces, according to witnesses.

The interior ministry and army command have denied any link to the abduction.

Libya has been rocked by a spate of kidnappings of both foreigners and Libyans since the overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising.

The oil-rich North African nation is awash with weapons and has two rival governments and powerful militias battling for territory.

The internationally recognised government has been based in the remote east since an Islamist-backed militia alliance seized the capital last August.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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