Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
By NBC News and wire services
TRIPOLI — Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been taken by force from a hotel in Tripoli by a group of former rebels, the government said in a statement Thursday.
“The head of the government Ali Zeidan was taken at dawn this morning by gunmen to an unknown place for unknown reasons,” the government said.
The abduction comes amid anger among Libya’s powerful Islamic militant groups over the U.S. special forces raid on Saturday that seized a Libyan al-Qaeda suspect, known as Abu Anas al-Libi.
Several groups accused the government of colluding in or allowing the raid, though the government denied having any prior knowledge of the operation. Hours before the abduction, Zeidan met with al-Libi’s family late Wednesday.
“We are looking into these reports, and we are in close touch with senior U.S. and Libyan officials on the ground,” State Deopartment spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
“We are working to determine more details,” she said. “Our embassy staff is safe in Tripoli. We have no further details at this time.”