Gunmen kidnap Jordan envoy to Libya, wound driver

TRIPOLI - Gunmen travelling in two cars on Tuesday abducted the Jordanian ambassador to Tripoli, Fawaz Aitan, in an attack that left his driver wounded, the Libyan authorities said.

It is the latest incident in which Libyan leaders and foreign diplomats have been targeted in the increasingly lawless North African country, three years after NATO-backed rebels ousted autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"The Jordanian ambassador was kidnapped this morning. His convoy was attacked by a group of hooded men on board two civilian cars," ministry spokesman Said Lassoued told AFP.

A security official said the ambassador's driver suffered gunshot wounds during the kidnapping.

The government in Amman confirmed the kidnapping.

"Jordan has initial information that the Jordanian ambassador in Libya, Fawaz Aitan, was kidnapped," foreign ministry spokeswoman Sabah Rafie said, adding that it was investigating.

The abduction comes two days after Libya's prime minister Abdullah al-Thani stepped down, saying he and his family had been the victims of a "traitorous" armed attack the previous day.

In January, gunmen kidnapped five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli and held them for several hours.

And on September 11, 2012, an attack on the US consulate in the restive city of Benghazi, in eastern Libya, killed US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US citizens.

It came three months after a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya, Dominic Asquith, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Benghazi, wounding two guards.