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Gunmen abduct Libyan Olympic chief

The head of Libya's Olympic committee has been abducted by gunmen in the capital Tripoli.

Ahmed Nabil al-Taher al-Alam was snatched on Sunday near the committee's offices in the city centre, according to his brother, Salah al-Alam.

He says there has been no contact with the official since.

Salah al-Alam said he learned of the kidnapping from his brother's friend, who was there when the abduction took place. The gunmen bundled Mr al-Alam into a car before speeding off.

Security officials said they are investigating the incident.

The committee chief was friends with ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Mohammed, and also served as the head of Libyan Football Association before Gaddafi's capture and killing in last year's civil war.

Dozens of former rebel groups now operate independently, often ignoring the nation's weak central authorities. Since Gaddafi's fall, militias frequently have taken matters into their own hands and rounded up officials with ties to the ousted regime.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has expressed "grave" concern about the kidnapping, and said his office have "offered any possible help if we can do something".

"Hopefully this will evolve in a good way," he told reporters in a conference call from Lausanne, Switzerland.

Five Libyans have qualified to compete in the 2012 Games in London.


From Belfast Telegraph