February 1, 2015 / 9:39 PM / 3 years ago

Kidnapped Libyan oil official released: minister

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A kidnapped senior Libyan oil official has been released after more than two weeks of captivity, a senior official said on Sunday.

Libya’s Oil Ministry and energy sector is caught up in a power struggle between the two rival governments that now control different parts of the country almost four years after the ousting of veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

The internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has operated out of the east since an armed faction known as Libya Dawn took over the capital Tripoli in the west and set up a self-declared government.

Both have appointed rival oil officials.

Samir Kamal, head of the planning department at the Tripoli-based government’s Oil Ministry, was released after being kidnapped, Tripoli Oil Minister Mashallah Zwai, told Reuters.

The circumstances of his kidnapping were not immediately clear and he gave no more details in a text message, but abductions have become frequent in the country.

OPEC’s website lists Kamal as an OPEC representative and Tripoli’s government says he holds that position.

However, the internationally recognized government did not nominate him for the last OPEC meeting in Vienna in November.

Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Williams

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