South Korean trade official abducted in Libya, report says
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 0350 GMT (1150 HKT)
[File photo] Libyan gunmen roam along Zawiyah Street in the Libyan capital Tripoli on January 3, 2012.
- South Korean taken from his car in Tripoli, Yonhap News Agency reports
- His whereabouts and motive for abduction unknown
- Seoul tells South Koreans in Libya to leave the North African country
- Libya government struggling to impose law and order
(CNN) -- Gunmen abducted a South Korean trade official in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, South Korea's semiofficial Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, in the latest violent incident highlighting the turmoil in the North African country.
Quoting South Korean officials, Yonhap said four unidentified, armed men abducted Han Seok-woo, 39, when he was heading home from work in the coastal city on Sunday.
Han is the head of the Libya unit of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
The gunmen stopped Han's car, took him and drove westward, Yonhap quoted a South Korean foreign ministry official as saying. It said there had been no word from the kidnappers yet. Their identities and the reason for the abduction were unknown.
Han is understood to be unharmed so far, Yonhap reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified South Korean government official.
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South Korea's foreign ministry, which has launched an emergency task force to deal with the abduction, issued a warning against traveling to Libya. It asked the 551 South Korean nationals living in the North African country to leave.
Libya's government and fragile state security forces are struggling to impose law and order in a country awash with weapons left over from the 2011 war that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Militias, former rebel fighters and militants have refused to lay down their arms and often resort to force to impose their demands on the weak central authorities.
This month, gunmen shot dead Libya's deputy industry minister in the first assassination of a transitional government official since Gadhafi's ouster in October 2011.
READ: State Department: American stopped by Libyan authorities
READ: Bodies of two foreigners found on Libyan beach, officials say
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