DUBAI: Nine Lebanese citizens held in Syria have been released after mediation by Qatar, Al Jazeera TV said yesterday, quoting Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah as saying.
Eleven Lebanese Shias were seized by a Syrian rebel group in May last year while on their way home from a pilgrimage in Iran, their families said. Two were later released.
Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, meanwhile, said: “The story is over. In the next 24 hours, they will be with us (in Lebanon).” Their return to Lebanon will raise hopes for the release of two Turkish pilots abducted in Beirut on August 9 by the families of the nine Lebanese, who accused Turkey of doing too little to win their release. A Lebanese source said a member of the Shia family holding the pilots said the men, who appeared in a video this week saying they were in good health, was likely to be released soon