Ross Kemp In 12-Hour Kidnap Stand Off With Armed Gang In Libya

An armed clan temporarily held Ross Kemp hostage as the former EastEnders hardman was attempting to film his newest documentary in Libya.

For 12 hours, a heavily-armed group surrounded the building Kemp was in, brandishing weapons and threatening to kidnap him.

At the time of the attack, he was filming in Sabha, a city south of Tripoli. Kemp’s documentary focuses on the vast human trafficking and smuggling networks within the country.

Kemp called the filming the “best” and “most dangerous” that he has ever completed, and added, “At one point, we were asked to leave the south.

“We had a number of people outside the building we were in with weapons. And the tribe that we were with had to defend us because this other clan wanted to take us. There was a stand-off for about 12 hours.

“We nearly had to be lifted out.”

During his travels, Kemp interacted with migrants in detention camps who were being illegally held by various militias.

He observed, “In the camps people are getting three pieces of cheese a day, one piece of bread and half a litre of dirty water. They are dying.

“We met a woman who had given birth three days before we arrived. Her baby had died six hours after she had gone into labour in the toilet. She was still bleeding and dying but no one was doing anything about it.

“There are three governments out there who say they are in control. But no one is in control in the country. It is on the verge of becoming a non-state.”

This is hardly only brush with death that Kemp has had. In 2016, he filmed a documentary on Syria that featured startling shots in which he barely avoided being shot and killed by an ISIS sniper.

The BAFA-winning filmmaker has also previously risked his life in Mozambique, where he recorded ivory poachers on hidden cameras.

He adds: “This was far more dangerous than being somewhere like Iraq. At least there, we were embedded with the Kurds. We knew the barriers of where we were safe at any one time. But in Libya you are not safe at all.

“It’s a country where there are three guns to every one person.”

The documentary airs on Sky on February 21st as part of Ross Kemp: Extreme World.

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