Son of security chief in Libya's Benghazi snatched, says army

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) - The student son of the Libyan army's special forces commander in Benghazi was kidnapped in the eastern city on Thursday, military sources said.

Ali Abu Khamada, son of commander Wanis Abu Khamada, was "kidnapped by unknown persons near Gar Younes university," a special forces officer told AFP, asking not to be named.

He gave no other details.

Special forces members are a frequent target of attack and assassinations in violence-ridden Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising which toppled Moamer Kadhafi.

In late November, several people were killed in three days of clashes between special forces led by Wanis Abu Khamada and the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia.

And special forces announced last Friday the arrest of four suspects in Benghazi in possession of a hit list of officers to be targeted or who had already been killed. A soldier died in the arrest operation.

Militants have also attacked foreign missions in Benghazi, including a September 2012 assault on the US consulate that killed the ambassador and three other Americans.

Eastern Libya has become a bastion of Islamist extremists, with authorities avoiding a full-blown confrontation with heavily-armed former rebels pending the formation of a regular army and police force.

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