Thursday, 10 October 2013

Libyan Prime Minister Kidnapped By Gunmen In Tripoli

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been kidnapped from a hotel in Tripoli by a group of armed men.

The kidnapping was apparently carried out by a militia this morning in revenge for the government's role in the capture of a top Al Qaeda suspect by U.S. troops.

Government officials have confirmed that Mr Zeidan was snatched from a hotel he was staying at in the capital and taken to an unknown destination.

Guards at the Corinthia Hotel have described the incident, which saw two of Zeidan's guards also taken, as an 'arrest'.

A spokesman for the Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries, a group of former rebels, claimed responsibility for Mr Zeidan's adbuction and blamed the U.S. operation which captured suspected terrorist Abu Anas al-Liby.

'His arrest comes after... John Kerry said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,' the spokesman said.

Global leaders were quick to speak out against Mr Zeidan's kidnap - Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said: 'I condemn the abduction of Libya's Prime Minister and call for his immediate release. 'Our ambassador is in touch with other members of the interim government. It is vital that the process of political transition in Libya is maintained.'The government and people of Libya have our full support at this concerning time.'
Two years after a revolution toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's central government has been struggling to contain rival tribal militias and Islamist militants who control parts of the country.

On Tuesday, Mr Zeidan called for the West to help stop militancy in his country.
The men are believed to have arrived at the hotel in a convoy of vehicles at dawn and led Mr Zeidan out of the hotel.

There is thought to have been no gunfire.

The Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries was one of many armed groups involved in the toppling of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

The militia has since been hired by the Interior Ministry to provide security in Tripoli.

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