Jordan ambassador to Libya kidnapped by armed assailants

By Kyle Johnson,

The Jordan ambassador to Libya was kidnapped by armed assailants in Tripoli as he headed to his office on Tuesday.

The masked gunmen abducted not only Ambassador Fawaz al-Aytan, but also some of his security guards, reports CNN. His driver was shot and injured.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh spoke with state news agency Petra and said, "Through our permanent mission in New York, we have asked the U.N. Security Council to issue a statement condemning this unacceptable act that targeted Jordan and its diplomatic representation in Libya."

The gunmen likely want to trade al-Aytan for a Libyan being held in a Jordan prison, according to a source. The Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the assailants used two vehicles when they jumped his convoy.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the swapping tactic worked once earlier this year. Gunmen held five Egyptian diplomats until Egypt agreed to release Libyan militia chief Shabaan Hadia.

Armed assailants don't always just target foreigners either. Interim Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni's son was kidnapped and released four months later.

Thinni recently announced he would be stepping down as acting prime minister over frustration of being harassed.



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