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Libyan official: Assailants abduct lawmaker who was country's PM, release him hours later

Mideast Libya-1.jpg

Black smoke billows over the skyline as a fire at the oil depot for the airport rages out of control after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias battling for control of the airfield, in Tripoli, Libya Monday, July 28, 2014. The latest violence to plague the country has so far killed scores of people and wounded hundreds as foreigners flee the chaos. Libya's interim government said in a statement that the fire could trigger a "humanitarian and environmental disaster" in Tripoli, appealing for "international help" to extinguish the inferno. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ben Khalifa) (The Associated Press)

A Libyan security official says assailants abducted a lawmaker and former prime minister from his home in the capital, Tripoli, but released him hours later.

It was the latest in a wave of kidnappings and assassinations that have been on the rise in Libya as it descends into chaos and deadly fighting among unruly militias.

The security official says the parliament member, Mustafa Abushagur, returned home safely on Wednesday after being abducted the night before. It's unclear who was behind the abduction.

Abushagur holds Libyan and American citizenship. He was the first prime minister to be elected after the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi but he failed to form a government and was subsequently ousted.

His successor Ali Zidan was briefly kidnapped last year from a Tripoli hotel.