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Algerian ambassador to Libya leaves after armed siege

Posted on May 17 2014 | IANS

Algiers/Tripoli, May 17 : Algerian Ambassador to Libya Abdel Hamid Bu Zaher

has left Tripoli after an armed siege, a Libyan security official said Friday.

Gunmen surrounded the Algerian embassy Thursday night threatening to kidnap the ambassador, but the attempt failed after Libyan security forces intervened, Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

He added that security forces escorted the ambassador and some diplomats until they

left the airport in Tripoli returning to Algeria.

An Algerian security source said that a Libyan armed group linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had planned to abduct the Algerian ambassador as a swap for Libyan

militants detained in Algerian prisons.

Earlier, the Algerian foreign ministry said that its embassy in Tripoli had been temporarily closed over threats against its diplomatic staff.

A couple of Arabian diplomats in Libya have been abducted by extremist groups, the

latest of whom was Jordan's ambassador who was released in mid-May after the Jordanian

authorities agreed to release a Libyan salafist militant involved in a terror case.

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