TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Masked gunmen abducted the Jordanian ambassador in the Libyan capital early Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a wave of abductions in the North African nation still plagued by lawlessness more than two years after the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Assailants traveling in two cars opened fire on Ambassador Fawaz al-Etan's vehicle in Tripoli, wounding the driver and forcing the diplomat out at gunpoint, said Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Said al-Aswad.
A spokeswoman for Jordan's Foreign Ministry, Sabah al-Rafie, confirmed the kidnapping but had no further details. She said the Jordanian government was following the matter closely with Libyan authorities.
The motives behind the abduction were not clear, and there was no immediate word from the kidnappers.
The ambassador's sister, Khawala al-Etan, told The Associated Press that she learned of her brother's abduction when she saw his picture flash across her TV screen.
"I was shocked and started crying," she said, adding that her brother has been subject to previous kidnapping attempts. "He was always under threat."
She appealed to his abductors to release her brother.
Abductions have been rife in Libya since the country's 8-month civil war ended with Gadhafi's killing in October 2011. Diplomats and journalists have been among those targeted in the kidnappings.
In January, gunmen briefly held six Egyptian diplomats and embassy employees following the arrest of a Libyan militia leader in Egypt. The diplomats were released only after Egypt freed the detained militia commander.
Most of the abductions, however, have targeted Libyan officials, including senior members of the government, and their families.
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