- Reports emerged Friday that a Saudi man had been abducted in Lebanon
- The incident came the same day as Saudi Arabia told its citizens to leave the country
- Regional tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and Hezollah have escalated in recent days
- Lebanese television claimed the incident was likely drug-related
A Saudi man has been kidnapped in the Keserwan region of Lebanon amid political tensions with Saudi Arabia, media reports said on Friday.
“After dropping his wife off at their house in Adma on Thursday evening, Saudi citizen Ali Abdul Nabi al-Bashrawi parked his Saudi-plate, white BMW at the Tabarja roundabout before being kidnapped at the hands of unknown individuals from a nearby area,” LBCI television reported.
The TV network said Bashrawi, 34, “belongs to the Shiite sect and is married to a Syrian woman.”
“He called his wife on Friday, saying that the captors are demanding $1.5 million in return for goods that he had bought from them,” LBCI added.
Quoting probe sources, the TV network said the case is likely linked to drug trade.
“Security agencies are following up on the case to locate the abductee, amid speculation that he is being held in the Bekaa,” LBCI said, noting that he used a Syrian phone number to call his wife.
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Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq meanwhile issued a statement saying “the safety and security of resident and visiting Saudi citizens, as well as all Arab and foreign residents, is a priority for all Lebanese authorities.”
“Tampering with security and stability in Lebanon is a red line whose crossing is prohibited. Security agencies are on alert to foil any attempt to take advantage of the current political situation from any party and for whichever reason,” Mashnouq added.
The incident came on the same day that Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately amid skyrocketing tensions with Iran and Hizbullah and warnings to the Lebanese government.
This article has been edited by Al Bawaba from its original version
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