Armed rebels kidnap Libyan PM, take him to undisclosed location
By Nic Robertson, Saad Abedine and Faith Karimi, CNN
October 10, 2013 — Updated 0448 GMT (1248 HKT)
- Witness: The prime minster was taken from a hotel into a convoy of waiting cars
- The witness did not report gunfire during the incident
- Militias have run rampant since the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi in 2011
(CNN) — Rebels have kidnapped Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan 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.”
Zidan’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.”
Libya militias have run rampant since the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Militias in the east of the country are demanding more autonomy from the central government, and have severely constrained Libya’s oil output, which is central to its export revenue.
Last month, Zidan said the nation is trying to rebuild after decades under Gadhafi’s rule. He shot down reports that Libya is a failed state.
“We are trying to create a state, and we are not ashamed of that,” Zidan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “The outside world believes that Libya is failing, but Libya was destroyed by Gadhafi for 42 years, and was destroyed by a full year of civil war. And that’s why we are trying to rebuild it.”
Part of Libya’s rebuilding involves reconciliation and accountability, he said.
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