Syrian hostages released in Wadi Khaled, Lebanon
Army Intelligence personnel escort freed Syrians out of al-Ahmad family's residence in the village of Hisheh, north Lebanon, on Saturday, April 27, 2013. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)
Click here to add Ali Ahmad as an alert
Disable alert for Ali Ahmad,
Click here to add Amer al-Hasan as an alert
Disable alert for Amer al-Hasan,
Click here to add Army Intelligence as an alert
Disable alert for Army Intelligence,
Click here to add Damascus as an alert
Disable alert for Damascus,
Click here to add Hisheh as an alert
Disable alert for Hisheh,
Click here to add Mohammad Hasan al-Ahmad as an alert
Disable alert for Mohammad Hasan al-Ahmad,
Click here to add Mohsen al-Ali as an alert
Disable alert for Mohsen al-Ali
Eight Alawite Syrians were released Saturday after weeks of being held hostage by the Ahmad tribe in the Wadi Khaled region of north Lebanon.
Gunmen from the tribe kidnapped the workers on April 1 near the border with Syria in a bid to pressure Damascus into agreeing to a swap deal for one their kin who is being held by Syrian authorities.
The release came hours after a meeting was held at Ali Ahmad's residence in the village of Hisheh, Wadi Khaled, that was attended by Brig. Gen. Amer al-Hasan, the head of Army Intelligence in north Lebanon, and members of the follow-up committee established to resolve the case.
The committee is composed of Wadi Khaled figures and notables including Ahmad’s family.
The eight Syrians were handed over to Army intelligence at the residence of Fahed Ali Ahmad, a member of the tribe, before being transferred back to their home country.
Suleiman al-Ahmad another member of the tribe, thanked security agencies for their help in securing the release of the kidnapped and described the abduction as “an unintended operation."
Suleiman al-Ahmad also urged security agencies and the government to help resolve the case of his relative, Mohammad Hasan al-Ahmad, who is being detained in Syria.
"Our son was kidnapped after they lured him across the border,” he said, adding: “He has no history of violating security in Lebanon or in Syria but only of blackmailing for money.”
One of kidnapped Syrians, Mohsen al-Ali, told reporters after his release that his captors had treated him and his companions well.
"We were dignified guests at Ahmad's family," he said, calling for the release of the Lebanese citizen.
- Syrian regime issues ultimatum to Lebanon kidnappers - reports
- Syrian Conflict Enters Lebanon: Lebanese Cameraman Ali Shaaban Killed
- Partial deal reached in Lebanon hostage case: report
- Two of three Lebanese hostages released by gunmen in Arsal
- Lebanese army regains Arsal control but still waits for hostage release