TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's prime minister is thanking his rescuers, but not saying much else about his abduction today.
In what appeared to be retaliation for a U.S. special forces raid that captured an al-Qaida suspect in the capital, Tripoli, last weekend, gunmen snatched Prime Minister Ali Zidan from his hotel and held him for several hours. His captors are believed to have been militiamen, and it appears he was freed by members of another militia who stormed the site where he was being held.
Afterward, at a Cabinet meeting aired live on Libyan TV, Zidan offered no details and avoided pointing fingers at those behind the abduction. Zidan said he hoped the matter would be "treated with wisdom and rationality," adding that the country has "many things that need dealing with."
The abduction has highlighted the lawlessness that grips Libya two years after the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi. Multiple militias that originated in the informal brigades of "revolutionaries" who fought Gadhafi's forces now serve as security forces across the country. Many are made up of Islamic militants, and their independence has left the central government weak.
139-c-11-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"figure from Libya"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie reports Libya's prime minister has been freed a few hours after he was kidnapped. (10 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *139 (10/10/13)££ 00:11 "figure from Libya"
138-v-31-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--Libya's prime minister has been freed after he was kidnapped, apparently in retaliation for a U.S. operation. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie. (10 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *138 (10/10/13)££ 00:31
140-c-12-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"central government is"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie reports Libya's premier has been freed from kidnappers. (10 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *140 (10/10/13)££ 00:12 "central government is"
APPHOTO CAI101: FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 file photo, Libyan's Prime Minister Ali Zidan speaks to the media during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco. Zidan was snatched by gunmen before dawn Thursday from a Tripoli hotel where he resides, the government said. 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. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar) (10 Oct 2013)
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APPHOTO CAI105: Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan, left, gives a press conference after being rescued from gunmen who snatched him from his hotel early Thursday and held him for several hours, in Tripoli Libya, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The brazen abduction, which ended with Zidan's rescue, underscored the lawlessness gripping Libya two years after the ouster of autocrat Moammar Gadhafi. The weak central government is virtually hostage to multiple, independent-minded militias — many of them made up of Islamic militants — that serve as security forces and hold sway across the country. (AP Photo) (10 Oct 2013)
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