Libya PM Kidnapped, Freed Hours Later

Apparently over government's reported approval of US raid
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2013 5:03 AM CDT
Libya PM Kidnapped, Freed Hours Later
In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 file photo, Libyan's Prime Minister Ali Zidan speaks to the media during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco.   (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

(Newser) – Libyan PM Ali Zeidan was reportedly kidnapped from the five-star hotel where he lives this morning—and released within hours. The militia that abducted Zeidan says it was simply detaining him over alleged corruption; the justice department and Zeidan's spokesman, however, call it a kidnapping, CNN reports. The New York Times says the kidnapping was likely a response to Zeidan's alleged approval of a US raid against a suspected al-Qaeda member in Libya.

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Zeidan's "arrest comes after ... (John Kerry) said the Libyan government was aware of the (US) operation," a rep for the militia, called the Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries, tells Reuters. The militia works alongside the interior ministry, CNN notes; several ministries have received security assistance from the country's militias. An interior ministry rep earlier told state news Zeidan was being held there, Reuters reports; meanwhile, the government said he'd been taken to "an unknown place for unknown reasons." Gunmen fired no shots as they took Zeidan; he was unharmed upon release. The BBC notes that Zeidan has arrived back at his office. (Read more Libya stories.)

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