Five Tunisian smugglers released from Libyan custody

April 9, 2012 16:50


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TUNIS - Five Tunisian smugglers taken hostage by Libyan gunmen near the Ras Jdir border crossing were released on Sunday after negotiations with the military council in the western Libyan town of Zawiya, the official TAP news agency reported.

The men, from the Tunisian border town of Ben Guerdane, were snatched on Saturday in what security sources said was a dispute over fuel smuggling.

The incident highlighted the challenges Libya's National Transitional Council has faced in imposing its authority over myriad armed groups since last year's revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power.

The border crossing at Ras Jdir, on the road leading from Tunisia to Tripoli, has been closed several times over the past year due to clashes or unrest in the frontier area.

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