ALGIERS/TRIPOLI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Algerian Ambassador to Libya Abdel Hamid Bu Zaher has left Tripoli after an armed siege, a Libyan security source said on Friday.
The source said that gunmen surrounded the Algerian embassy on Thursday night threatening to kidnap the ambassador, but the attempt failed after Libyan security forces intervened.
He added that security forces escorted the ambassador and some diplomats until they left the airport in Tripoli returning to Algeria.
An Algerian security source told Xinhua that a Libyan armed group linked to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb had planned to abduct the Algerian ambassador as a swap for Libyan militants detained in Algerian prisons.
Earlier on Friday the Algerian Foreign Ministry said that its embassy in Tripoli had been temporarily closed over threats against its diplomatic staff.
A couple of Arabian diplomats in Libya have been abducted by extremist groups, the latest of whom was Jordan's ambassador who was released in mid-May after the Jordanian authorities agreed to release a Libyan salafist militant involved in a terror case.