By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli, 10 December 2013:
Forty Tunisians taken hostage on Monday by Libyan militiamen close to the Ras Jedir border crossing . . .[restrict]were released yesterday.
The Tunisians were seized by the militiamen some 40 kilometres from the Tunisian border at around 11:30 pm on Monday. The Tunisian Embassy in Tripoli has said they were seized in retaliation for the earlier arrest of three Libyans found in possession of drugs at the Ras Jedir crossing point. A further eight Tunisians were abducted by the same group on Tuesday morning.
The hostages were finally released following the intervention of Tunisian authorities who negotiated with Zawia Local Council and the city’s high security committee for their safe return.
The Tunisian Ambassador, Ridha Boukadi, told the Libya Herald that the Libyans who had been arrested for the possession of drugs were complicit in “a criminal act perpetrated by outlaws. They had to be held according to Tunisian law which stipulates that anyone caught with drugs will be arrested and investigated”.
The arrested Libyans were later released on the grounds of insufficient evidence. [/restrict]