Gunmen kidnap son of Libyan special forces chief

BENGHAZI, Libya Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:07am EST

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BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Gunmen kidnapped the son of the Libyan army's special forces commander on Thursday, the latest high-profile abduction in the eastern city of Benghazi where the military has been battling Islamist militants.

"He was leaving college when two cars blocked his way and dragged him away," Special Forces commander Col. Wanies Bukhmada told Reuters, describing his son's abduction.

More than two years after the revolt that ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's fragile government and nascent army are struggling to control brigades of former rebels and militants who fought in the uprising but have refused to disarm.

No group claimed responsibility for Thursday's kidnap, but the army has been fighting brigades from the hardline Islamist movement Ansar al-Sharia for months in Benghazi.

The group was blamed for an attack on the U.S. consulate in the city in 2012, in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Wafalli; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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