` Jordan’s Ambassador to Libya Freed After Abduction by Gunmen in Tripoli ‘

#AceWorldNewsTRIPOLI – May 13 – Jordan’s ambassador to Libya has been freed after being abducted by gunmen in the capital, Tripoli, last month.

Jordanian Minister FreedFawaz al-Itan was released unharmed and was on his way home on Tuesday, Jordanian officials said.

The kidnappers had reportedly demanded the release of a Libyan Islamist militant in exchange, but it is unclear whether this was granted.

Diplomats have been the targets of a number of abductions in Libya in recent months amid continuing instability.

The central government has struggled to assert its authority over the armed groups and tribesmen who helped end Muammar Gaddafi‘s 41-year rule in 2011.

‘Doing well’

Mr Itan was kidnapped in the Libyan capital on 15 April when masked gunmen shot at his car, wounding the driver.

Libyan state media quoted Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, as saying he was already on his way back to his homeland after his release on Tuesday.

“The ambassador is doing well and he is now making his way back to his country,” Mr Judeh was quoted as saying.

He gave no further details about the circumstances of the release.

Four weeks ago masked gunmen seized the Jordanian ambassador in the Libyan capital on Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a wave of abductions and kidnappings that have swept Libya underscoring the lawlessness in the North African nation since the 2011 overthrow of late dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

According to the spokesman of the Libyan Foreign Ministry, several masked gunmen in civilian clothes and in two cars opened fire at Ambassador Fawaz al-Etan’s vehicle early  Tuesday morning in Tripoli.

The assailants wounded the Jordanian ambassador’s driver and forced Mr. al-Etan out at gunpoint, said the spokesman, Said al-Aswad.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sabah al-Rafie confirmed the kidnapping but had no further details.  

She said the Jordanian government was following the matter closely with the Libyan authorities.

The motives behind the abduction were not clear and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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