Middle East

Two Tunisians abducted in Libya freed

A Tunisian diplomat and an embassy staffer have been freed after months of captivity in Libya.

Last updated: 30 Jun 2014 00:21
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Tunisia's prime minister said the pair were on their way back home [Reuters]

A Tunisian diplomat and a fellow embassy staffer abducted in Libya earlier this year have been freed by their abductors after months in captivity.

Tunisia's Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa confirmed their release on Sunday and said they were on their way back home.

"I want to inform you that several minutes ago a plane left Tripoli with our compatriots who had been held," Jomaa said in a press conference at the foreign ministry, the AFP news agency reported.

Embassy employee Mohamed bin Sheikh was kidnapped in Tripoli on March 21 while diplomat Al-Aroussi Kontassi was seized on April 17.

The pair had been freed through "the efforts of the Tunisian authorities in collaboration with the Libyan authorities whom we thank for their cooperation", Jomaa said alongside Tunisian Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi.

Hamdi declined to give details on the circumstances of their release but said no ransom had been paid.

He also said that Tunisia's contact was with the Libyan authorities and not with the kidnappers whose identity he did not know, though he added their motivation was "political".


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