Voice of America (Washington, DC)

15 April 2014

Libya: Jordanian Ambassador Abducted

Photo: Hamza Turkia/Xinhua
Foreign officials are often the target of kidnappings by gunmen in Libya (file photo).

Gunmen have kidnapped the Jordanian ambassador in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Libyan foreign ministry officials say assailants in two cars opened fire on the convoy carrying Ambassador Fawaz al-Etan Tuesday morning as it traveled through the city center near the Jordanian embassy.

His driver was wounded in the attack.

Libya's foreign ministry spokesman Said al-Aswad said authorities are closely following the case and working to ensure the safety of the ambassador.

"The authorities are searching for the place that the kidnapped ambassador might be taken to, we hope that we can reach a positive result very soon," said al-Aswad.

The motive behind the abduction is unclear, however Reuters news agency quotes a Libyan investigator as saying the assailants have demanded the release of a Libyan man jailed in Jordan.

Foreign officials are often the target of kidnappings in Libya. In January, five Egyptian diplomats were taken at gunpoint and released only after Egypt released a detained Libyan militia commander.

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InFocus

UN Condemns Jordan's Envoy Abduction in Libya

Foreign officials are often the target of kidnappings by gunmen in Libya (file photo).

The UN Security Council has condemned the abduction of Ambassador Fawaz al-Itan of Jordan by gunmen in Tripoli, calling on those responsible to immediately him. Read more »