Gunmen seize Libyan PM Ali Zeidan; free him hours later

    TRIPOLI (TIP): Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan appealed for calm Thursday, October 10 in his first public comments since he was freed after being abducted by militia gunmen for several hours, a CNN report said. In remarks to a Cabinet meeting broadcast on Libyan state TV, Zeidan said he did not want to see the situation escalate and urged Libyans to show “wisdom.” Zeidan’s abduction from a luxury hotel early Thursday highlighted the security threat posed by militias that have run rampant in Libya since the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi two years ago. But the prime minister appeared to play down his kidnapping, characterizing it as an internal political problem. “I want to reassure the foreigners inside Libya that this issue happened within the context of political Libyan disagreements and the foreigners are not being targeted,” he said. Immediately after Zeidan’s release, Nouri Abusahmain, president of the Libyan General National Congress, said the prime minister was “in good shape” and “in good spirits” as he headed to his office. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to Malaysia, said he had spoken with U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones and Washington as the situation in Libya evolved, and would stay in close touch. “Our embassy personnel are secure.We’re confident about our abilities to keep them in that security,” Kerry said. The situation underscores “something that we’ve been really focused on in these last months,which is building capacity in Libya,” he added. It has been just over a year since U.S. envoy Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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