Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan, shown in March, was seized by armed men in Tripoli, the capital, news reports said Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / March 13, 2013)

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan was seized by armed men and taken from a hotel in Tripoli, the capital, according to news reports early Thursday.

The Reuters news agency cited two Arab-language television stations, Sky News Arabia and Al Arabiya, both based in the United Arab Emirates, that first reported the apparent kidnapping.

Al Arabiya said on its English-language site that the Libyan government had confirmed the reports. The BBC also said the government had confirmed the reports and that Zidan had been taken to an undisclosed location by a group of men who were believed to be former rebels.

The news comes just days after U.S. special forces seized a Libyan Al Qaeda leader in Tripoli and spirited him out of the country.

The suspect, Nazih Abdul-Hamed Ruqai, better known by the alias Abu Anas al Liby, is wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

Zidan, a former human rights lawyer who spent decades in exile in Geneva, returned to take part in the 2011 revolution that overthrew dictator Moammar Kadafi. He has been prime minister since November 2012.

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