UN chief slams kidnapping of Libyan PM

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan by a group of gunmen.

“I condemn this abduction in the strongest possible terms. I am hoping that reports coming from Libya that he has been released is true but it is not yet confirmed,” Ban said on Thursday.

“I have just spoken to my special representative of the secretary general in Libya and we discussed about this matter. He is working very hard and is in consultation with the Libyan government and other parties to ensure a safe release so that Libya’s democratic transition continues as scheduled,” the UN chief added.

Early on Thursday, the Libyan government stated that Zeidan had been abducted, saying, œThe head of the transitional government, Ali Zeidan, was taken to an unknown destination for unknown reasons.”

Later in the day, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz announced the freedom of Zeidan, saying, œWe have no details so far on the circumstances of his release.”

A former rebel group known as the Operations Cell of Revolutionaries claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The group said on its Facebook page that it had œarrested” Zeidan on the orders of prosecutors, but the public prosecutor™s office said it had issued no warrant for an arrest.

The kidnapping of the Libyan prime minister was made after US forces carried out a raid in Tripoli to abducted alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi on Saturday.

Al-Libi, 49, is reportedly being held captive and questioned on American warship USS San Antonio in international waters.

The Libyan government, which regards the US raid in Tripoli as a case of abduction, summoned the US ambassador over the move on Tuesday.

Later in the day, Zeidan told reporters in Tripoli, œOur relationship with the USA is important, and we care about that, but we care too about our citizens, which is our duty.”

IA/HN/MHB

Copyright: Press TV