Jordan’s kidnapped envoy to Libya freed

Photo: Jordan’s kidnapped envoy to Libya freed  / Arab World

Jordan's kidnapped ambassador to Libya has been freed by his captors, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Tuesday, in what was later confirmed by the Jordanian foreign ministry.

Ambassador Fawaz al-Itan was kidnapped last month by gunmen who demanded an Islamist militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's freedom. There was no immediate indication whether that demand had been met.

Jordan's foreign minister, Nasser Judeh said Itan was already on his way back to his homeland following his release.

"The ambassador is doing well and he is now making his way back to his country," Judeh was quoted as saying by state TV, without explaining circumstances of his release.

The envoy was kidnapped by masked gunmen in mid-April as he was going to work in Tripoli, who shot at his car in an attack that wounded his driver.

The incident was one of the latest targeting Libyan leaders and foreign diplomats in the increasingly lawless country, three years after NATO-backed rebels ended autocratic leader Muammar Qaddafi's four-decade rule.

There has been no claim of responsibility for Itan's abduction.

According to sources in Tripoli said the kidnappers had demanded the release of a Mohammed al-Dursi, alias Mohammad al-Noss, a Libyan jihadist who has been detained in Jordan for more than seven years over his alleged involvement in planning an attack on Amman's airport.

The Libyan government has only said it established indirect contact with the abductors, without giving any more details.

An employee and a diplomat of the Tunisian embassy in Libya were also abducted in Tripoli, on March 21 and April 17 respectively. According to Tunis, their captors demanded the release of two Libyans held for "terrorism" in Tunisia.

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