Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been abducted by gunmen in Tripoli.
Ali Zeidan was taken from his hotel at dawn “by gunmen to an unknown place for unknown reasons”, said a statement on the government’s website.
The details are unclear – sources say Ali Zeidan was arrested by an anti-crime militia allied to the government, but others that he had been kidnapped.
There is speculation the event is linked to the capture of a senior al-Qaeda suspect in Libya by US forces.
The government has come under pressure to explain how US commandos were able to seize Anas al-Liby last Saturday.
He is wanted in the US over the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
On Monday, Libya demanded an explanation from the US ambassador over the incident.
The details of Ali Zeidan’s capture remain unclear, but that he was taken by armed men from a hotel he resides in the early hours of the morning.
The government website said he had been taken “to an unknown place for unknown reasons by a group thought to be from the Tripoli Revolutionaries Control Room and the Committee for Fighting Crime”.
There are a number of militia groups operating in Libya which are nominally attached to government ministries but often act independently.
The ministry of justice confirmed that no arrest warrant had been issued for Ali Zeidan.
The government statement did not name the hotel, but a woman at the Corinthia Hotel – where the prime minister lives – confirmed the incident happened there when armed men entered the building.
She said no-one had been killed.
Libya’s cabinet has been summoned for an immediate meeting under the leadership of the deputy prime minister.
Al-Arabiya TV station broadcast images which showed Ali Zeidan looking disheveled and being escorted by what the station said were armed men.
Two years after the revolt which overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s government has been struggling to contain rival tribal militias and Islamist militants who control parts of the country.