[QODLink]
Middle East

Jordan ambassador to Libya abducted

Identity and motive unclear of men who seized Fawaz al-Aitan after attacking his car in Tripoli and shooting his driver.

Last updated: 15 Apr 2014 19:25
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Jordan's ambassador to Libya has been kidnapped in Tripoli by masked armed men who attacked his car and shot his driver.

A spokesman for Libya's Foreign Ministry said that Fawaz al-Aitan was abducted in Tripoli's Mansour neighbourhood on Tuesday.

Masked men in civilian clothes driving a BMW and a pick-up vehicle surrounded the ambassador's car, immediately opening fire.

Aitan's driver was shot in the leg in the attack and has since been hospitalised. One of the his guards was shot in the arm.

The men, who spoke the Libyan dialect, according to the Libyan Foreign Ministry, then forced Aitan into one of their vehicles and drove away at high speed.

Essam Baitelmel, a member of the Libyan team investigating the abduction, said the kidnappers had demanded the release of Mohamed Dersi, a Libyan jailed for life in 2007 for plotting to blow up the main airport in Jordan.

The kidnappers made their demands in a call to the ambassador's own mobile phone, which was left behind in the car after the abduction, Baitelmel said. They said the diplomat was unharmed.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry confirmed that its ambassador had been abducted. The country's Royal Jordanian airline later cancelled Tuesday's scheduled flight to Tripoli.

Abdullah Ensour, Jordan's prime minister, told members of parliament that Aitan was abducted from his car as he was leaving his house but that the identity of the attackers was unknown.

"The Jordanian government holds the kidnapping party responsible for the safety of the ambassador and will take all necessary measures to protect his life and release him," Ensour said, without elaborating.

Earlier this year, five Egyptian diplomats, the secretary of Tunisia's ambassador to Libya and a South Korean trade official were abducted.

Aitan had been based in Libya since the establishment of the National Transitional Council, and was among the first Arab ambassadors to be assigned to Libya after the revolution.

He previously worked for the Jordanian embassy in Morocco as a diplomat.

324

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.