By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 24 January 2014:
An Egyptian diplomat has been kidnapped this evening in Tripoli, a source close to the . . .[restrict]Tripoli Security Directorate has confirmed to the Libya Herald.
No details had yet been made public, the source said, in case these damaged the investigations.
The Consul at the Egyptian embassy declined to comment when contacted by this newspaper. The kidnapped man, however, has been widely-reported to be the embassy’s administrative attaché, although this has not yet been officially confirmed.
The kidnapping is believed to be in retaliation for the arrest in Egypt yesterday of the head of the Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room (LROR), Shaaban Masoud Khalifa, also known as Abu Obeida Al-Zawi.
He was arrested last night in Alexandria on suspicion of being affiliated to Al-Qaeda, according to the Egyptian media. He was seized by the Egyptian authorities, after they apparently received information that he was entering the country. They claimed that he was in possession of foreign currencies, documents and CDs.
Zawy was reportedly arrested in a student building in Alexandria. Media sources said that he was in the city to take exams related to Islamic studies.
The President of the General National Congress (GNC), Nuri Abu Sahmain, today called upon the the Egyptian government, head of intelligence Salem Hassi and the Libyan Ambassador in Cairo, Mohamed Faiz Jibril, to ensure the release of Zawy. He also demanded that the Egyptian authorities explain the reasons for the arrest.
Abu Sahmain set up the LROR last year, while briefly holding the post of Commander-in-Chief. The LROR was implicated in the kidnapping of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in October last year from the Corinthia Hotel.
Meanwhile, Egypt closed its land border at Sollum today, apparently to coincide with the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. [/restrict]