Jordan urges Libya to release three nationals

Amman calls on Libya’s internationally recognised government to secure release of abducted Jordanians.

AMMAN - Jordan called Tuesday on Libya's internationally recognised government to facilitate the release of three Jordanian nationals abducted by a militia last year.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi spoke with his Libyan counterpart Mohammed Tahir Syala about the "case of three Jordanians abducted in Libya since August last year," the Jordanian foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Libyan authorities must immediately work to release (them) and return them to the kingdom," Safadi said.

Syala said he was "personally following the matter" on the recommendation of the chief of Libya's Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, according to the Jordanian statement.

The group's release was delayed because they were detained by one militia and then handed to another, he said, but Libyan authorities had recently located them and "handed their case over to the attorney general to end the investigation and release them".

Officials in Libya have not commented publicly on the matter.

Jordan has contacted Libya multiple times about the detainees through official channels, the statement said.

A source at the Jordanian foreign ministry said they were in Libya on "private business".

Libya was plunged into a bloody power struggle between multiple militias following a NATO-backed uprising that led to dictator Moamer Kadhafi's death in 2011.

Abductions are commonplace and foreign workers are often kidnapped by armed groups and held for ransom.

Jordan in September 2014 called on its citizens not to travel to Libya due to security risks.