Libya PM Ali Zeidan Kidnapped At Gunpoint

Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is reportedly in “good health and being treated well” after he was kidnapped by gunmen at a luxury Tripoli hotel where he lives.

Mr Zeidan is being held at the interior ministry’s anti-crime department, said an official there, after being seized by a large number of armed men at the Corinthia Hotel.

Two of his guards were also taken. The security pair were beaten up but later released, another official said.

Earlier, the government said the PM was taken to an unknown location by former rebels.

A group of ex-rebels said it had ‘arrested’ Mr Zeidan after US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Libya’s role in the US capture of alleged al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al Libi.

A spokesman for the group, known as the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, said: “His arrest comes after … (Kerry) said the Libyan government was aware of the operation.”

The group, which in principle reports to the defence and interior ministries, said it had seized Mr Zeidan “on the prosecutor’s orders”.

The premier “was arrested under the Libyan penal code… on the instructions of the public prosecutor”, it said, adding he was detained for “crimes and offences prejudicial to the state” and its security.

Sky’s Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said: “If this claim is true, it would appear that the prime minister of Libya has been detained by a faction that answers nominally to part of his own government.”

Al Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al Libi was seized by the US last Saturday
Foreign Secretary William Hague said he condemned the abduction of the PM and called for his immediate release.”

Two years after a revolution toppled Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, the fragile central government has been struggling to contain tribal militias and groups of former rebels who spearheaded the uprising.

Mr Zidan’s abduction reflected the weakness of the government, which is virtually held hostage by powerful militias, many of which are made up of Islamic militants.

Marshall said: “The prime minister of Libya’s jurisdiction runs about to the end of his hotel corridor and then stops because there is no real government, certainly in the sense that we understand it.

“It is a lawless place that is falling apart into different factions, tribes, regions, areas and groups.

“The fact this man has been detained does not alter the trajectory of Libya’s spiral into chaos.

“What is very important about the fact that the PM can be taken from his hotel by armed men is symbolic of how bad things have got.”

There has been anger among militant groups over the US special forces operation on Saturday that seized al Libi.

Several groups accused the government of colluding in or allowing Saturday’s raid, though the government denied having any prior knowledge of the operation.

Hours before the PM’s abduction, Mr Zeidan met al Libi’s family late on Wednesday.

Guards at the Corinthia Hotel said no shots were fired and there were no clashes during the kidnapping.

One guard described it as an “arrest” while another told Reuters the men were militants.

Al Libi is suspected of being involved in the twin bombings of US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1998.

At the weekend, he was taken off the street in Tripoli and whisked away to a US warship in the Mediterranean.

source: sky news.