Libyan gunmen kidnap top investigator in Benghazi

Libyan policemen in civilian clothing protest against the kidnapping of the Head of Criminal Investigation Department, Abdel Salam al-Mahdawi, outside the Tibesti hotel in Benghazi, on January 3, 2013. Police officers in civilian clothes have been protesting against the kidnapping

Gunmen have kidnapped the acting head of the criminal investigation department in Libya's second city, Benghazi, officials have said.

Abdelsalam al-Mahdawi was abducted at traffic lights on his way to work. It is not known who was behind the attack.

Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel promised to find the officer and the perpetrators, news agency AFP reported.

Libyan authorities have been struggling to provide security since the Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

Last November, Benghazi's police chief was assassinated in a drive-by shooting.

More than a dozen other security officers were killed last year in Benghazi, the city where the uprising began.

Map

AFP news agency quoted a security official as saying that the investigator "had many enemies".

"He had files on everyone - Gaddafi loyalists, hard-line Islamists and common criminals," said the unnamed official.

A group of police officers has staged a protest against the kidnapping.

One held a banner asking: "Where are the men of Benghazi?"

There has been a series of attacks against diplomatic missions and aid agencies in the city.

They included a deadly assault on the US embassy in Benghazi in September last year.

There have also been attacks against Sufi shrines and mosques.

Witnesses say the attacks were carried out by militant Islamists.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.