Two Tunisians abducted in Libya freed: embassy

Libyan families cool off at the seaside with the onset of summer and high temperatures in the capital Tripoli on June 9, 2013 (AFP Photo/Mahmud Turkia) (AFP/File)

Tripoli (AFP) - A Tunisian diplomat and a fellow embassy staffer abducted in Libya earlier this year were freed by their abductors on Sunday after months in captivity, an embassy source said.

"They have been freed and should be returning to Tunisia soon," the source, who declined to be identified, told AFP, adding that the pair were in good health.

Diplomats in Tripoli say militias which fought to topple the Moamer Kadhafi regime in the 2011 uprising often carry out kidnappings to blackmail other countries into releasing Libyans they hold.

Embassy employee Mohamed ben Sheikh was kidnapped in Tripoli on March 21 while diplomat Al-Aroussi Kontassi was seized April 17.

At the time Tunis said a jihadist group was behind the abductions and was demanding the release of Libyans jailed in Tunisia for their role in a deadly "terrorist operation" that took place three years ago.

On Sunday the Tunisian embassy source said the pair were freed "thanks to negotiations" but that his government did give in to the demands of the kidnappers.

Their abductions come during a string of attacks targeting diplomats in the Libyan capital.

Jordan's ambassador to Libya has also been kidnapped and Portugal's embassy was attacked by gunmen

Libya has been awash with weapons since the end of the uprising that killed Kadhafi and has been gripped by increasing lawlessness.