Beirut, Oct 20: Nine Lebanese pilgrims, who were abducted in Syria’s Aleppo city last year, have been released, Lebanon’s caretaker interior minister said Saturday.
The nine people, who were freed Friday evening, are on their way back to Lebanon accompanied by Security General Director Maj. General Abbas Ibrahim, reported Xinhua citing Interior Minister Marwan Charbel telling reporters at Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut.
General Ibrahim, media reports said, is with the Lebanese pilgrims at Sabiha Airport in Turkey, and was waiting for ” logistics to be completed before boarding the plane back to Lebanon”.
Syrian rebels kidnapped 11 Lebanese pilgrims in Aleppo city in May 2012 when they returned from a religious trip to the holy sites in Iran. Two of the pilgrims were released shortly after they were kidnapped.
The Lebanese State TV also reported that two Turkish pilots, who were abducted in August in Beirut following the capture of Lebanese pilgrims, were released.
The pilots were abducted by an unknown group, which said it had seized them to secure the release of the nine Lebanese nationals held captive in Syria.