Armed gunmen have kidnapped ten members of staff at the Tunisian consulate in Libya’s capital Tripoli, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry said.
A ministry statement said Friday’s incident was a “blatant attack on Tunisian national sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international laws and diplomatic norms.”
The statement said Tunisia’s government was monitoring the situation and working to secure the release of the employees.
“All government services are following developments with interest in coordination with Libyan, regional and international parties, to liberate without delay the Tunisian mission team and guarantee its safety,” the ministry statement read.
Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri said Tunisian officials were holding a crisis meeting but were being reticent about who was behind the kidnapping.
“Some people are saying that all of this connected to a man named Walid Kalib, a member of Libya Dawn, which took control of Tripoli and forced the government to move to Tobruk in the east,” Moshiri said.
“Walid Kalib was arrested here in Tunisia in May, he’s facing charges of kidnapping.
“In May, more than 250 ordinary Tunisian were detained but then released.”
Tunisia is one of the few countries which still has a mission in Tripoli, which is controlled by a government not recognised by the UN.