Bid to kidnap Algeria envoy in Libya thwarted: Report

An attempt by Libyan militants to kidnap Algerian Ambassador in Tripoli Abdel-Hamid Bu Zahra on Friday was thwarted

An attempt by Libyan militants to kidnap Algerian Ambassador in Tripoli Abdel-Hamid Bu Zahra on Friday was thwarted

ALGIERS – An attempt by Libyan militants to kidnap Algerian Ambassador in Tripoli Abdel-Hamid Bu Zahra on Friday was thwarted, a private Algerian television channel reported Friday.

According to Echorouk TV, unidentified militants tried to abduct Bu Zahra outside his home in central Tripoli.

"The militants besieged the ambassador's residence and the adjacent embassy before security agencies intervened and helped the diplomats get to the airport, where they boarded a flight to Algiers," the broadcaster said, citing unnamed Libyan sources.

Official Algerian sources, however, say the diplomats were flown home after Algerian security agencies received a tip-off about a plan to abduct Algerian diplomatic personnel.

The same sources denied reports that militants had besieged the ambassador's home or the embassy.

The reports come only a few days after Jordanian ambassador to Libya Fawaz al-Aitan was released after having been kidnapped by Libyan militants last month.

Al-Aitan was released by his captors on Tuesday after Jordan handed a Libyan prisoner – identified as Mohamed al-Darsi – over to authorities in Tripoli.

Al-Aitan's abduction was only the latest in a string of attacks targeting foreign diplomats in Libya, which has suffered from chronic instability since strongman Muammar Gaddafi's ouster and death in 2011.

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