Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been released hours after being seized by militiamen, the government says.
A former Libyan rebel group said on Thursday it had "arrested" Zeidan after the government allowed the United States to capture top al-Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli last weekend.
The Libyan Revolutionary Operations Chamber said on Facebook it had seized the prime minister "on the prosecutor\’s orders," adding that Zeidan "was arrested under the Libyan penal code… on the instructions of the public prosecutor".
Zeidan\’s abduction comes amid anger over Saturday\’s U.S. special forces raid in Libya that nabbed senior al-Qaida operative Abu Anas al-Libi, who is being held aboard a Navy ship.
Libya called on the United States to explain the operation, which it termed a "kidnapping." Mr. Zeidan said Tuesday his country wants to keep good relations with the United States, but that Libyan citizens should be judged at home.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the capture, calling it "legal and appropriate." He said the Libyan government\’s complaints are unfounded, and that Libi will go before a court of law.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who is traveling with Kerry, said Thursday the U.S. is looking into the prime minister\’s abduction and is in close touch with Libyan officials.
Libya has struggled with instability and violence since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi in late 2011.
Rebel groups that fought against Mr. Gadhafi\’s forces have given rise to militias and militant groups who control parts of the country.
Attacks have targeted foreign diplomatic missions in Libya, including the Russian embassy last week, the French embassy in April and a U.S. consulate last year.