Libyan jihadists release video of kidnapped Tunisian diplomat
A Libyan jihadist group on Monday released a video showing a kidnapped hostage from the Tunisian embassy pleading with the Tunisian government to negotiate with his captors.
Mohamed ben Sheikh is one of two Tunisian officials who were recently kidnapped from their embassy by assailants, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported. The official is being held by a largely unknown group calling themselves Shabab Al-Tawhid.
In the five-minute long video, Sheikh is seen crying as he pleads with Tunisia's president to help rescue him from his captors.
"Mr President, why do you want to deprive me of life?.. There are no negotiations, they will not release me," he says, according to AFP.
"Mr President, negotiate with them. I want to return to Tunisia. They can kill me at any time."
Sheikh's hostage video was posted on social networking sites.
At the end of the video, the captors, in a message to the Tunisian government, claim: "As you imprison ours, we imprison yours. As you kill ours, we kill yours," according to AFP.
Authorities in Tunis that spoke to AFP said that his Shabab Al-Tawhid captors are demanding the release of Libyans sentenced for their role in a 2011 "terrorist operation" in which two police officers died.
The abduction of Sheikh and his colleague comes during a string of recent attacks targeting foreign diplomats in Tripoli, Libya's capital.
Last week, Jordan's ambassador to Libya was also kidnapped and Portugal's embassy was attacked by gunmen.