Jordan says jihadist freed in swap for kidnapped Libya envoy
AMMAN - Agence France-PresseJordan freed a jihadist held over a plot to attack Amman's airport in exchange for the release of its ambassador to Libya who was kidnapped last month, a minister said Tuesday.
"Last week, Mohammed Saeed al-Darsi was handed over to Libyan authorities in accordance with an agreement" with the Libyan side, Jordan's minister for parliamentary affairs, Khaled al-Kalaldah, told AFP in reference to the deal that secured the release of ambassador Fawaz Aitan.
Aitan was already on his way back to his homeland following his release, the television station cited Jordan's foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, as saying.
"The ambassador is doing well and he is now making his way back to his country," Judeh was quoted as saying, without explaining circumstances of his release.
Masked gunmen had kidnapped Aitan in mid-April as he was going to work in Tripoli, shooting at his car and wounding his driver.
The incident was one of the latest targeting Libyan leaders and foreign diplomats in the increasingly lawless country, three years after NATO-backed rebels ended autocratic leader Moamer Kadhafi's four-decade rule.
There has been no claim of responsibility for Aitan's abduction.
But sources in Tripoli said the kidnappers had demanded the release of a Mohammed al-Dursi, alias Mohammed al-Noss, a Libyan jihadist who has been detained in Jordan for more than seven years over his alleged involvement in planning an attack on Amman's airport.
The Libyan government has only said it established indirect contact with the abductors, without giving any more details.
An employee and a diplomat of the Tunisian embassy in Libya were also abducted in Tripoli, on March 21 and April 17 respectively. According to Tunis, their captors demanded the release of two Libyans held for "terrorism" in Tunisia.