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Libya's Prime Minister arrested, not kidnapped, Interior Ministry says

Ali Zeidan, the Prime Minister of Libya, has been arrested today by law enforcement officers. This was reported by the department of crime prevention of the Libyan Interior Ministry.

"Nobody kidnapped him," LANA news agency quoted the representatives of the office.

Previously it was reported that unknown armed men broke into the "Corinthia" hotel in Tripoli, where the residence of the Cabinet's head is located, and menacing him with guns had taken away the Prime Minister in an unknown direction. According to Al Jazeera, the Prime Minister was arrested during a joint operation by the Interior Ministry and the so-called "operational headquarters" of the former rebels ordered by the Prosecutor General's Office. Zeidan is allegedly accused of corruption and involvement in the abduction by U.S. special forces of one of the alleged leaders of Al Qaeda Abu Anas al- Libi in Tripoli on Saturday, according to Sky News - Arabiya.

Meanwhile, Al Arabiya channel quoted the country's Prosecutor General, who claimed that he personally "did not issue a warrant for the arrest" of the politician.

The Cabinet claims that the Prime Minister has been kidnapped "by unknown armed men." As pointed out by his spokesman Mohammed Kaabr, "Zeidan was kidnapped by unidentified men who took him away in an unknown direction." The government accused the rebels from the city of Az-Zawiyah, located on the Mediterranean coast, 50 km west of the capital.

Justice Minister Salah Bashir Margani also confirmed to Al Arabiya that Zeidan was abducted by armed militants. In addition, there is information about the capture of Finance Minister Alkilani Al-Jazi in Tripoli.

The Libyan government is currently holding an emergency meeting in connection with the incident.

How the Al-Qaeda leader was captured

One of the alleged leaders of Al-Qaeda Abu Anas al-Liby was abducted by American special forces Saturday in the streets of Tripoli. American authorities were searching him in connection with bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that claimed lives of more than 200 people.

The White House confirmed that U.S. intelligence operations recently conducted in Libya and Somalia have been personally sanctioned by Obama.

Libyan authorities announced that they had not been timely informed by the U.S. side about the operation, which was termed a kidnapping of a country's citizen, and insisted on explanations. Meanwhile, local Islamists on Tuesday announced the "beginning of the hunt for U.S. citizens and U.S. agencies" in Libya.

[Source: Itar Tass, Cairo, 10Oct13]

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