Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2016, 06:57 GMT

Turks leave Lebanon as Turkish pilots held hostage

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 10 August 2013
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Turks leave Lebanon as Turkish pilots held hostage, 10 August 2013, available at: [accessed 23 October 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

August 10, 2013

Gunmen in Lebanon were continuing to hold two Turkish Airlines pilots as hostages early on August 10, a day after kidnapping them just outside of Beirut's international airport.

Meanwhile, Turkish citizens in Lebanon were making preparations to return to Turkey after Ankara warned against travel in the country.

The kidnappers want the release of nine Lebanese Shi'a who were captured in Syria by rebels.

The kidnappers claim the nine were on a religious pilgrimage in Syria when they were detained.

Lebanese media report that a previously unknown group called Zuwwar al-Imam Rida claimed responsibility for the August 9 abductions of the pilots.

Lebanese Shi'ite groups support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria's rebels are predominantly Sunnis and are widely supported by Lebanon's own Sunni community. Turkey also backs Syria's rebels.

Based on reports by AP, Reuters, and AFP

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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