By Sami Zaptia.
London, 3 June 2020:
The Interior Ministry of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli announced today that the kidnapped girl, Wissal Abdelhafeed, was released this afternoon. Wissal was kidnapped two weeks ago from her home in the Kremia area of south Tripoli as part of a robbery by armed men.
The Ministry said several of the accused in the kidnapping incident are under arrest. There is still confusion on the exact details of her release. Some reports say she had escaped whilst others say she was released. The Interior Ministry said after tracing and tracking the mobile number used by the kidnappers to contact her family, they were able to make a number of arrests. The kidnappers had requested a ransom of US$ 5 million. Some reports say the kidnappers knew the family.
Even in the insecure and unstable Libya, the case of a young girl being kidnapped from her home had caused huge consternation in greater Tripoli. It became a symbol of all that is wrong with post 2011 Libya.
The Tripoli authorities spared no effort to locate her and free her to reinforce some sense of security and existence of state structures. The Interior Ministry issued a press release and held a lengthy press conference today on her release.