Libyan Ex-Rebel Group Says It 'Arrested' PM Zeidan
A group of former rebels in Libya said Thursday it had "arrested" Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, after he was seized by gunmen from a Tripoli hotel in a dawn raid.
The Operations Cell of Revolutionaries, which in principle reports to the defence and interior ministries, said on Facebook it had seized Zeidan "on the prosecutor's orders".
The premier "was arrested under the Libyan penal code... on the instructions of the public prosecutor", the group said.
The group said it was on high alert "in light of the deterioration in security and damage to the country's sovereignty by foreign intelligence bodies".
"His arrest comes after the statement by John Kerry about the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby, after he said the Libyan government was aware of the operation," a spokesman for the group said, referring to the US Secretary of State.
Earlier in the day the government confirmed Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped Thursday with an official statement on its website.
"The head of the interim government" was taken at dawn "to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group believed to be ... revolutionaries," the site says, in Arabic.
Rebels have kidnapped Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and taken him to an undisclosed location, his spokeswoman told CNN early Thursday.
Armed rebels escorted the prime minister from the Corinthian Hotel in Tripoli into a convoy of waiting cars, said a hotel clerk who was not authorized to speak to the media.
The witness reported no gunfire during the incident, and said the gunmen was respectful and "caused no trouble."
Zeidan's office initially called the abduction a "rumor" on its official Facebook page. Then it posted a note that said it was "coerced by kidnappers to deny the report."
Zeidan, a former Geneva-based human rights lawyer, took office in November 2012.
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