Lebanon interior minister condemns kidnapping of Turkish pilots

Lebanese troops patrol the airport highway on the southern outskirts of Beirut on 9 August 2013 following the abduction by gunmen early in the morning of two pilots working for Turkish Airlines. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

Published Saturday, August 10, 2013

Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said on Saturday that Lebanon would spare no efforts to release two Turkish pilots kidnapped near Beirut a day earlier and to find their abductors, the Lebanese National News Agency reported.

"We will protect the Turkish and Lebanese in Lebanon," Charbel told journalists after a meeting with Turkey’s ambassador to Lebanon Inan Ozyildiz.

"Lebanon rejects kidnapping operations and the Lebanese government is making every effort to release the hostages," he said.

Charbel said he wasn’t aware of a confirmed link between the pilots’ abduction and the case of 11 Lebanese pilgrims held hostage in Syria since May 2012, whose families have urged Turkey to use its influence to secure their release.

Charbel added that a group which has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping was using a fictitious name – Zuwar Imam al-Rida – of which the interior ministry has no record.

(Al-Akhbar)

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