Benghazi’s top cop kidnapped

Updated 04 January 2013
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Benghazi’s top cop kidnapped

BENGHAZI: The acting head of the criminal investigations department in Libya’s second city Benghazi has been kidnapped at gunpoint, officials told AFP yesterday.
“Abdelsalam Al-Mahdawi was kidnapped late Wednesday when traveling from his farm to the criminal investigations department,” a security official told AFP.
“Bearded men stopped him at a traffic light on Venezia Street and kidnapped him at gunpoint,” the official said on condition of anonymity, recalling that the police chief had been abducted before.
Another colleague said that Mahdawi “had many enemies since he had files on everyone — Qaddafi loyalists, hard-liners and common criminals.”
A small number of demonstrators — most of them fellow officers in civilian clothes — gathered in front of the city’s landmark Tibesti Hotel overnight calling for his release, an AFP photographer reported.
Yesterday, Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel expressed his regret over the kidnapping and promised to “search for the officer and determine the identity of the perpetrators.”


Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

Updated 31 min 34 sec ago
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Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

  • Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions.
  • Only a few embassies came back when a UN-backed administration took office in 2016.

Tripoli: Tunisia has reopened its consulate in the Libyan capital, the Libya foreign ministry said on Saturday, the latest mission to return to Tripoli.
Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions and few came back when a UN-backed administration took office in 2016.
The Tunisian consulate resumed work after talks between the two countries, the Libyan foreign ministry said. The Tunisian foreign ministry declined to comment, but a diplomatic source confirmed the move.
Tunisian had closed its mission 2015 after ten staff were kidnapped.
In recent weeks some Western embassies have sent diplomats for longer stays to Tripoli as security has improved, although few stay full time on the ground.
The Italian and Turkish embassies as well as the UN mission are among the few open.
Tripoli is formally run by a Government of National Accord backed by the UN but in reality controlled by a patchwork of armed groups.
Big street clashes between rival groups have ended, but several rockets which hit Tripoli airport this week were a reminder that security remains shaky.
The UN has been trying to meditate to produce a national government and end the rift between the administration in Tripoli and a rival one in the east, part of a conflict gripping the oil producer since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.