Tunisia confirms release of abducted nationals in Libya
The 14 Tunisians had been kidnapped by gunmen in the city of Zawiya in northwestern Libya
By Adel al-Thabeti
Fourteen Tunisian nationals abducted in Libya have been freed, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
In a statement released Sunday, the ministry said it had communicated with the freed nationals.
The statement, however, did not provide details about how they were released.
According to the statement, Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis al-Jahnawi held a phone call with his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Sayala to thank him for Libyan efforts to free the Tunisian nationals.
The 14 Tunisians had been kidnapped by gunmen on the outskirts of the city of Zawiya in northwestern Libya.
It remains unclear which militant group was behind the abduction.
In 2015, a group of Tunisian diplomats were abducted in Libya, in a move decried by Tunisian authorities as a “blatant attack on Tunisia’s sovereignty”.
Libya has been beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily armed militia groups.