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Libyan Prime Minister Freed After Kidnapping

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been freed after being abducted and held for several hours by former rebels.

Officials did not immediately give details about his release, after rebels grabbed him before dawn Thursday at a Tripoli hotel where he lives.

A group known as the Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries claimed responsibility, saying they "arrested" the prime minister.

The group had blamed Mr. Zeidan's government for playing a role in 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.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the prime minister's abduction and expressed the need for Libya to maintain its political transition process. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen also stressed that stability and the rule of law are "critically important" in Libya.

The country has struggled with instability and violence since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi 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.

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