By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli, 15 December 2013:
Azziziya Congressman Abdulmajid Al-Zantouti was freed last night after Warshefana and Kikla elders negotiated his release . . .[restrict]with his captors. A delegation from Warshefana and Kikla along with fellow Azziziya Congressman Abdulfattah Al-Hablous escorted Zantouti to Tripoli, Issa Laswad, one of the Kikla officials involved in the negotiations told the Libya Herald.
Zantouti was abducted on Wednesday by a group of young Kikla locals in reprisal for the capture the previous evening of Kikla Local Council leader Ibrahim Sghayer, along with a Kikla Shura Council member and a number of other local council officials.
Sghayer is highly regarded in Kikla, especially by young locals, for his role during the Libyan revolution.
“They were over zealous youngsters, angered by this abduction,” Laswad said. “They thought they would use Zantouti as a pressure card on Warshefana to release Sghayer.”
Zantouti’s release was a gesture of goodwill by Kikla, he said, in the hope that the Warshefana would reciprocate and release their captives.
He claimed that a Warshefana gang had carried out some 150 criminal acts against Kikla residents recently, including murder and theft. One of them, whom he named as Abdulqadus, had, he alleged, been wounded during a shootout in the area and been taken by to the prison in Mitiga airbase and was being held there.
Abdulqadus had, he said, been captured by a member of Kikla’s Quwat Al-Rada (Special Deterrence Force) and in retaliation, some Wershefana locals had blockaded the road at Zahra Bridge and seized 22 Kikla officials, among them Sghayer.
They later released 17 of the abductees, Kikla Military Council spokesman Belgassem Al-Kikli told this newpaper.
“This is a gang of criminals who were trying to bargain with us for the release of a murderer, rapist and criminal,” Al-Kikli said.
He said that Kikla Local Council had appealed to the government, including the Prime Minister, to the GNC, the General Chief of Staff as well as elders from Warshefana tribe for the release of Sghayer, but in vain.
Laswad warned of mounting anger in Kikla, saying that matters could get out of control if Sghayer were not released within the next 24 hours. [/restrict]