2 Libyan diplomats kidnapped in Somalia, then released, officials say

Gunmen kidnapped two Libyan diplomats at a market in Somalia's lawless capital on Saturday, but the envoys were later freed, Libyan officials said. In the first reports from Somalia, a guard at the Libyan Embassy in Mogadishu reported the kidnap. "They were abducted by men with pistols," said the guard, who asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak to the media. A Libyan Foreign Ministry statement at that time said "the two were attacked and forced to leave their car" while shopping in Bakara Market, south of the city center. It identified the diplomats as Naji Gassouda and Fathi Boudiyah, but did not say what positions they held at the embassy. In the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the Foreign Ministry official who later announced the diplomats were released said no ransom money was paid, and that the two were freed after unspecified efforts made in the intervening hours.