Tripoli protests US 'kidnap' of Libyan in Al-Qaeda raid

TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libya demanded an explanation from Washington on Sunday for the "kidnap" of a citizen in an unauthorised commando raid on its territory that netted a top Al-Qaeda suspect.

"The Libyan government has been following the reports of the kidnap of one of the Libyan citizens wanted by the authorities in the United States," a government statement said. "As soon as it heard the reports, the Libyan government contacted the US authorities to demand an explanation."

US special forces seized Abu Anas al-Libi in a commando raid in broad daylight on Saturday, sealing a 15-year manhunt for the top Al-Qaeda suspect. A source close to Libi told AFP he was snatched by armed men in Tripoli.

Libi, who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigations most wanted list with a US$5 million reward (S$6.2 million), was indicted in US federal court in New York for allegedly playing a key role in deadly 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

"As the result of a US counter-terrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Libi is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.