Middle East

Gaddafi's son Hannibal freed after kidnap in Lebanon

The eldest son of Libayan leader Moamer Kadhafi, Hannibal, Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hannibal Gaddafi, pictured here in 2010, was known for his lavish lifestyle

Late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal has been freed after being briefly kidnapped by an armed group in Lebanon, security sources say.

In a video shown on Lebanese TV, the captive businessman was seen appealing for more information concerning the 1978 disappearance of the prominent Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr.

He was freed in the city of Baalbek and dispatched to Beirut, police told AP.

The 40-year-old former playboy was given sanctuary in Oman in 2012.

His father Muammar was overthrown by rebels in a 2011 uprising.

Al-Sadr, one of the most prominent Shia clerics of the 20th Century, disappeared along with two others during a trip to Libya in 1978.

Muammar Gaddafi denied any involvement in his disappearance, but many suspect him of having orchestrated it.

The case has long soured relations between the two countries.

It is not known how long Hannibal has been in Lebanon.

He was under house arrest while in Oman with his sister Ayesha and mother Safiya.

US citizens warned

In a separate development, the US state department urged American citizens to avoid travelling to Lebanon because of security concerns.

In a statement it said sudden outbreaks of violence could occur at any time, and gave the example of the twin suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group which killed more than 40 people in Beirut last month.

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