TODAY   |  October 10, 2013

Libyan prime minister freed from kidnappers

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had been freed overnight after a militia of former rebels claimed responsibility for kidnapping him from a five-star hotel in Tripoli. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>> kidnapping of libya 's prime minister. he has been let go. there is a lot of questions about the group that took him and why they did. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is here with more on that.

>> good morning. matt, gunmen abducted the prime minister, held him at gunpoint for several hours, then released him. this grainy photograph of this libya prime minister as he was disoriented and snatched by gunmen before dawn . libya 's transitional government in a cryptic statement said the prime minister was taken to an unknown place for unknown reasons. with with the prime minister missing, the rest of the government rallied in support at an emergency meeting. the prime minister had been living at the five star corinthia hotel. until according to director of hotel security, 15 cars and 100 men surrounded the building at 4:00 a.m . t. gunmen came in with a paper. they said it was a warrant for the prime minister's arrest and they took him, he says, no shots were fired a. militia of former rebels who not against mow mar gadhafi known as the revolutionaries claimed it saying they were claiming test a legal arrest based on corruption t. government says no such warrant exists. sources in italy say the retention was also in retaliation for a raid last weekend by u.s. special operations netting al libi, around accused militant. some libyans were furious their government was too weak to prevent the operation. or as the new york times reported wednesday may have even sanctioned it. more than two years of washington health rebels drive out gadhafi, they are militias operating with such impunity they can and this morning said they did detain the prime minister. in another very strange twist to this strange story the militia group that initially said it was responsible for kidnapping the prime minister later came out and said it wasn't them that had nothing to do with it. imagine this, matt, savannah, you have a hostage group taking the prime minister, holding him, releasing him, then doing they had anything to do with it.

>> thank you, richard engel .