Snatched Libyan PM set free

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Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference at the headquarters of the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was abducted on Thursday from the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel in the Libyan capital, Tripoli where he was residing by armed gunmen, is reported to have been released unharmed, according to Libyan state television. An Interior Ministry official has been quoted by the country’s news agency as saying the PM is being held at the Ministry’s anti-crime department.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that it has been told by the group responsible for the ‘kidnap’ that Mr Zeidan “was arrested under the Libyan penal code… on the instructions of the public prosecutor.” The general prosecutor’s office is denying reports that it had issued an order to arrest the PM.

There have also been unconfirmed reports that the Operations Cell of Libya’s Revolutionaries said it merely detained Mr Zeidan because he has been charged with financial and administrative corruption. However, the justice ministry said there was no arrest warrant, and even went as far as to call the move a kidnapping.

The pre-dawn seizure of Zeidan came five days after US commandos embarrassed and angered Libya’s government by capturing senior Al-Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Libi off the streets of Tripoli and whisking him away to a warship. A group of former rebels, which had roundly denounced Libi’s abduction and blamed Zeidan’s government for it, said it had “arrested” Zeidan.

“The head of the transitional government, Ali Zeidan, was taken to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group of men believed to be former rebels”, the government had said in a brief statement on its website.

According to another unconfirmed report, Mohamed Sheikh, the Libyan Minister of the Interior could tender his resignation from the government over this incident