Hours after being abducted from his suite in a Tripoli hotel, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Ziden was freed.
According to media reports, the gunmen who abducted him belong to a group called the Operations Room of Libya's Revolutionaries. As part of a government program to reintegrate rebel gunmen, the group was tasked with providing security to Libya's interior ministry.
The abduction was thought to be in retaliation for the seizure of senior al Qaeda terrorist by U.S. Special Forces in the capital on Saturday.
An estimated 150 armed men in pickup trucks arrived before dawn at the Corinthia Hotel Thursday, according to eyewitness accounts to the Associated Press. A large contingency entered the hotel, some standing guard in the lobby while others headed to Ziden's suite on the 21st floor.
After a brief scuffle with some of Ziden's bodyguards, the gunmen led him away with two of his security guards with none resisting.
Zidan's abduction came hours after he met with the family of Abu Anas al-Libi, the suspect taken into custody Saturday by U.S. Special Forces.
The senior al Qaeda member is wanted in connection with the dual bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. He has a $5 million bounty on his head.