Libya 'close to' release of Olympic chief

Tue, Jul 17, 2012, 01:00

KIDNAP:TRIPOLI – The head of Libya’s Olympic committee, Nabil al-Alam, has been kidnapped but officials hope to secure his release by today, the deputy head of the country’s National Transitional Council said.

“We are now clearly coming close to securing the release by the kidnappers,” Mustafa al-Houni told reporters at a news conference with British foreign secretary William Hague. “I hope you will hear good news today or tomorrow.”

Mr Hague said he was “concerned to hear” about the abduction. Mr Al-Houni did not provide details about the kidnapping, which underscored the challenges the central government in Tripoli faces as it tries to restore order and security in the oil-rich nation months after Muammar Gadafy was deposed and killed in a violent uprising.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said he was concerned about the abduction and was in contact with the Libyan Olympic committee about the incident.

Mr Rogge said the international committee had few details on the incident, aside from those reported in the media.

“The car which he drove was stopped by people dressed in military outfits, and they have taken him for interrogation,” he said in a conference call. “No one knows where he is for the moment. Hopefully, this will evolve in the good way.” – (Bloomberg)