Libya: Ex-Official Kidnapped; Interior Minister Said He Resigned

Hours after Libya's former interior minister said he resigned to support anti-government protesters, the Libyan government said he had been kidnapped.

Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi told CNN Wednesday that he resigned Monday after hearing that 300 unarmed civilians had been killed in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city. He accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of planning to attack civilians on a wide scale.

But the same day, Libyan state media reported that "gangs" in Benghazi had kidnapped him. Witnesses have reported that Benghazi has essentially been taken over by the opposition. Witnesses also told CNN they saw Younis on Sunday and Monday in Benghazi, where he was siding with the protesters.

CNN could not immediately confirm reports for areas beyond Benghazi. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country. CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone.

Libyan state television added that Libyan forces have warned those responsible for the kidnapping that they "will be chased in their hiding places."

Earlier Wednesday, al Abidi said he had quit the government and is supporting the protesters, who he predicted will achieve victory in "days or hours."
CNN