Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan kidnapped by former rebel group

October 10, 2013 1:38 pm

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan kidnapped by former rebel group

Tripoli 10th October 2013: Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been abducted before dawn today from a hotel in the capital city Tripoli by a group of gun men.

 The militia, which had been hired by the Interior Ministry to provide security in Tripoli, said it arrested Ali Zeidan after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that the Libyan authorities had been aware in advance of the American capture at the weekend of Abu Anas al-Libi, who is wanted for trial in New York.

 According to the Government statement, Mr Zeidan was taken from his hotel by gunmen to an unknown place for unknown reasons. Guards at the Corinthia Hotel said that Zeidan’s guards have also arrested. The armed men are believed to have reached at the hotel in an escort of vehicles at dawn and led Mr Zeidan out of the hotel.

 A photograph seemingly provided by the militias and posted on the Al-Arabiya website showed a confused Mr Zeidan, without his trademark spectacles, in what appeared to be night-clothes.

 Officials said he seemed not to have been harmed, and said that two “revolutionary brigades” were supposed to be responsible for the incident, the “Operations Room of Revolutionaries” and the “Brigade for the Fight against Crime”.

 A spokesman for the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries claimed responsibility for Zeidan’s kidnapping and criticized the U.S. operation which captured al-Qaida suspect Abu Anas al-Liby. Hours before the abduction, Mr. Zeidan had met with members of al-Liby’s family.The Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries was one of many armed groups involved in the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

 There was an angry reaction in the country, especially among Islamist militias to the capture of al-Libi, a founder member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an opposition organisation in the time of Col Muammar Gaddafi.

The Libyan cabinet held an emergency meeting today morning, headed by Zeidan’s deputy, Abdel-Salam al-Qadi.

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About the Author

Kalim Ansari is a Working Partner and Contributor to Qatar Chronicle. With over a decade’s experience in journalism, Kalim has reported for a number of major international publications from Gaza, Jerusalem, Beirut and Cairo.

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