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Jordan's Ambassador To Libya Kidnapped After Gunmen Attack His Car

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[April 15, 2014]  By Feras Bosalum

TRIPOLI (Reuters)  Jordan's ambassador to Libya was kidnapped on Tuesday morning after masked gunmen attacked his car and shot his driver, a spokesman for Libya's foreign ministry said.

The driver survived the attack and was in hospital, spokesman Said Laswad said. A Jordanian foreign ministry source said they believed that the incident occurred as their ambassador, Fawaz al-Itan, was leaving his house.

Kidnappings have become commonplace in Libya and abductors frequently target foreign officials. Since the start of the year, five Egyptian diplomats, a Tunisian official and a South Korean trade official have been abducted.

Random acts of violence are also on the rise. In December, an American teacher was shot dead in Benghazi and in January, a British man and a New Zealand woman were shot execution-style on a beach in the west.


The weak government has been unable to dis-arm former rebels who fought against deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and parliament has deep internal divisions that further reduce Tripoli's ability to exert authority. Its interim prime minister resigned last week.

Tribal groups, militias and even local citizens frequently resort to road blockades and more seriously to shutting down the OPEC member's vital oil facilities as a negotiating tactic.

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The bulk of the country's oilfields and some major oilfields have been shut down by federalists in the east and tribes in the west demanding more rights or demonstrating against parliament.

(Additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; writing by Julia Payne; editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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