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Libya: Benghazi Police Chief Kidnapped
03/01/2013 12:43:00
The acting head of the criminal investigations department in Benghazi, Abdulsalam al-Mihdawi, has been kidnapped at gunpoint as he was travelling from his farm to the criminal investigations department,” officials said on Thursday.

His kidnappers, described as an armed group made up of masked bearded men, stopped him and two of his colleagues at a traffic light on Venezia Street in Benghazi's Hawari district and kidnapped him at gunpoint. It is the second time that Mr al-Mihdawi has been abducted.

First reports indicated that his kidnappers could be hardline Islamists as he has made many enemies since he has been compiling files on so-called Gaddafi loyalists, hardline Islamists and common criminals.

A small number of demonstrators, most of them fellow officers in civilian clothes, gathered in front of the city’s landmark Tibesti Hotel overnight calling for his release, while Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel expressed his regret over the kidnapping and promised to “search for the officer and determine the identity of the perpetrators.”

This has been the last of a series of abductions of security personnel and attacks on police stations in and around Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, and follows closely on a recent visit to Benghazi by Mr Shuwail and his chief of staff, Yousef Mangoush during which they announced plans to remedy the security situation.

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