Asia

Abducted South Korean trade official freed in Libya

Heavily armed militia surrounding the Libyan Justice Ministry in April 2013. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Armed militia still control much of Libya, and gangs also operate in some areas

A South Korean trade official who was kidnapped three days ago in the Libyan capital has been freed, officials say.

Han Seo-woo, who leads the Libya unit of South Korea's Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, was ambushed on his way home from work on Sunday evening.

Libya officials said he was freed in Tripoli by the security forces.

The kidnappers, who had been arrested, were thought to be "members of a minor armed rebel group", South Korea's foreign ministry said.

"Han is in good health and was handed over to the South Korean embassy," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a ministry statement as saying.

The authorities have struggled to secure Libya since the 2011 war that toppled Muammar Ghaddafi, with militia and armed gangs still controlling large parts of the country.

There have been a spate of attacks on Westerners in the country in recent months.

Last week two Italian construction workers went missing in the eastern city of Derna.

Earlier in January, the bodies of a British man and a woman from New Zealand were discovered near the coastal area of Mellitah, in the west of the country.

And in December last year, an American teacher was shot dead while out for a run in the eastern city of Benghazi.

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