Tunisian workers kidnapped in Libyan capital

Tunisian workers kidnapped in Libyan capital
2 min read
16 February, 2019
Around 14 Tunisian workers have been kidnapped by a militia in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Kidnappings are frequent in Libya's capital [Getty]
Around 14 Tunisian workers have been kidnapped by a militia in the Libyan capital, Tunisia's foreign ministry said on Saturday.

"The foreign ministry is following the predicament of the Tunisian citizens... (who were) kidnapped by armed Libyan elements near Zawiya", the ministry said on its Facebook page on Friday.

The militia responsible for Thursday's kidnapping was seeking the release of a Libyan fighter arrested in Tunisia, according to a human rights group, AFP have reported, although the name of the armed group was not mentioned.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis al-Jahnawi said he is speaking with Libyan counterpart  Foreign Minister Khamis al-Jahnawi "to ensure the safety of the abductees and accelerate their release", according to Anadolu news agency.  

The Tunisian consulate in Tripoli said it was working with Libyan officials to "end this crisis without delay".

Kidnappings in Libya are frequent, since the outbreak of fighting in 2011 following the now-deceased former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Rival governments have vied for power in Libya, one in Tobruk and one in Tripoli. Other militias have also huge control in the country, including warlord Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.

Kidnappings have become common, many by criminals for ransoms.

Tunisian diplomats were abducted in Libya in 2015, although they were later freed. Tunis closed its consulate following the incident and re-opened it last year.

An Islamic State group affiliate have also kidnapped and murdered Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians.

African migrants have also been held as "slaves" according to human rights groups.