UPDATE: Libya's News Agency: Abducted PM has Been Freed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
A government official says Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped by gunmen from a hotel in Tripoli where he resides.

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference with Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi at the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

UPDATE 4:45AM

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Libya's state news agency says Prime Minister Ali Zidan, abducted by gunmen at dawn, has now been freed.

Government Spokesman Mohammed Kaabar told the agency, LANA, that Zidan has been "set free" and was on his way to his office on Thursday.

The brief report gave no further information. Details were sketchy but it appeared Libyan forces had intervened in some way and that the abductors did not free Zidan voluntarily.

Hours earlier, Zidan was snatched by gunmen before dawn from a Tripoli hotel where he resides.

The abduction appeared to be in retaliation for the U.S. special forces' raid over the weekend that seized a Libyan al-Qaida suspect from the streets of the capital.


TRIPOLI, LIbya (AP) -- A government official says Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped by gunmen from a hotel in Tripoli where he resides.

The abduction early Thursday comes amid anger among Libya's powerful Islamic militant groups over the U.S. special forces raid on Saturday that seized a Libyan al-Qaida suspect, known as Abu Anas al-Libi. Several groups accused the government of colluding in or allowing the raid, though the government denied having any prior knowledge of the operation. Hours before the abduction, Zeidan met with al-Libi's family late Wednesday.

The official says gunmen broke into the luxury hotel in downtown Tripoli where Zeidan lives and abducted him and two of his guards. The official spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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