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updated: 10/10/2013 12:49 AM

Libyan prime minister taken from hotel by revolutionaries

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Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan was taken from the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli at dawn by a group called Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room, said Hashem Beshr, head of the Supreme Security Committee for Tripoli.

The group took Zaidan based on false information that the Public Prosecutor had issued an arrest warrant for him, Beshr said. "Zaidan is still with them," he said by phone from Tripoli.

Zaidan was taken "to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group believed to be the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room and the Crime Combating Committee," the government said on its Facebook page. The Libyan Cabinet is now holding an emergency meeting, government spokesman Mohamed Kaabar said by telephone.

Intra-militia violence has plagued Libya ever since the capture and death of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. It has intensified in recent months with groups refusing to heed government calls to disband, threatening local officials and storming government buildings. A senior aide to Zaidan, Mohammed Ghatus, was kidnapped in March. U.S. forces captured a fugitive in Libya earlier this week wanted for al-Qaida bombing plots.

Libya produces about 700,000 barrels a day of oil, or less than half the level before the rebellion that toppled Gadhafi. Brent crude rose as much as 40 cents on ICE Futures Europe exchange and was trading at $109.37 a barrel at 12:43 p.m. in Singapore.

The Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room is an alliance of former fighters who took part in the civil war against Gadhafi. The group is affiliated with the Interior Ministry. The government has sought to curb the influence of militia groups by putting their members on the payrolls of the defense and interior ministries.

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