Libya presidency denies attack on hotel it frequents

The new council played down the incident that highlights the risks facing the unity government

A general view taken on October 10, 2013 shows the Corinthia hotel in the Libyan capital Tripoli after Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped from the hotel, where he resides, at dawn by armed men and taken to an unknown location, the government and sources said. The Operations Cell of Libyan Revolutionaries, a group of former rebels which in principle reports to the defence and interior ministries, said on Facebook it had seized Zeidan "on the prosecutor's orders".  AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA (Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA / AFP)
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A senior official at Libya's new Presidency Council denied on Saturday that groups who entered a hotel where the body meets had been armed or used force.

Earlier, the Council's spokeswoman had said armed groups had stormed the Corinthia Hotel on Friday, although nobody from the body had been in the building at the time.

"There was no kidnapping, gunfire, or an attack on me or the hotel," the head of the Presidency Council's office, Mohamed Al Mabrouk, said in a social media video, adding he had been in the hotel at the time of the incident.

Mr Mabrouk said the head of the Presidency Council, which functions as Libya's head of state, would meet with the groups involved.

The Presidency Council was chosen through a UN-facilitated process that also selected a new Government of National Unity that took office in March, replacing rival administrations in east and west.

Armed groups based in western Libya have voiced anger at the Government of National Unity's Foreign Minister, Najla El Mangoush.

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