Jordan ambassador to Libya kidnapped

Masked men in civilian clothes surround envoy’s car, and fire at his driver and guards before abducting him.

Kidnappings have been common in Libya, with the government unable to control armed groups in the country [AFP]

Jordan’s ambassador to Libya has been kidnapped by masked gunmen in Tripoli.

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 truck surrounded the ambassador’s car, immediately opening fire.

The ambassador’s driver was shot in the leg in the attack and has since been hospitalised. One of the ambassador’s guards was shot in the arm.

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

The kidnappers called al-Aitan’s wife and told her the ambassador was in good health, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.

The Libyan government has not discussed who it thinks may be behind the attack.

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. 

Al-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.

Kidnappings are common in Libya, with the government unable to control a myriad of armed groups in the country. The secretary of Tunisia’s ambassador to Libya was abducted three weeks ago, and has yet to be found.

Source: Al Jazeera