TUNIS, Tunisia — Libya’s prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was hauled from his bed at 2:30 a.m. Thursday by a group of militiamen who stormed into the luxury hotel where he lives in downtown Tripoli, a kidnapping that would be extraordinary by almost any standard.
But this was Libya, where militias have unrivaled authority.
A few days earlier, a group of armed men barged into Zeidan’s office to demand back pay. They refused to leave for hours and ransacked an office when they did leave. Other militias have hampered production of oil, shut down the water running to the capital, forced power cuts, and participated in gunrunning and drug trafficking — all with impunity.
But the mysterious dawn raid on Ali Zeidan’s hotel room was a clear demonstration of just how far lawlessness has spread in Libya since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi — and just how powerful the country’s militias have become. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.