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Son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi freed after kidnapping

The son of Libya's late leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was briefly kidnapped in Lebanon, has been freed. Hannibal Gadhafi was allegedly detained by militants demanding information about a Muslim cleric.

Hannibal Gadhafi, the high-living businessman son of the late Libyan dictator, was released Friday evening several hours after being kidnapped, Lebanese security officials said.

Police collected Gadhafi from the northeastern city of Baalbek where he was being held and then freed the Gadhafi and were set to question him, an unnamed security source told the AFP news agency, without providing any further details.

Another source said the former dictator's son had been "kidnapped by an armed group in the region while he was traveling from Syria, before being released on Friday night in the same region."

Local television stations were reporting the late leader's son was kidnapped by militants demanding information about the fate of Shiite cleric Imam Moussa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya decades ago.

Sadr's 1978 disappearance has been a long-standing sore point in Lebanon. Sadr's family maintains he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, though many Lebanese presume he is dead.

The cleric was the founder of a Shiite political and military group that took part in Lebanon's civil war which began in 1975. The fighting pitted Muslims against Christians.

The Gadhafi family's lavish lifestyle helped fuel the anger in Libya that sparked the protests that eventually led to Moammar's ouster and killing in 2011. After Tripoli fell, son Hannibal, his father's wife Safiya and daughter Aisa escaped to neighboring Algeria.

Two other sons of the late dictator, Saadi and one-time heir apparent Seif al-Islam, are currently in detention in Libya. Three others were killed during the uprising.

jlw/rc (AFP, AP)

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