Five Czechs and a Lebanese Feared Kidnapped in West Bekaaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanese authorities are searching for five Czechs feared kidnapped in the eastern Bekaa Valley, a military source and the state-run National News Agency said Saturday.
The five, along with their Lebanese driver Munir Taan, a resident of Nabatiyeh, have been missing since Friday night, when their car was discovered in the Kefraya region in the western part of the Bekaa.
"We don't know what happened to them but we assume they were kidnapped because we found their passports and documents and belongings in the car," the source said.
"We are carrying out searches of local hotels and other places in the area."
NNA said the car contained personal suitcases, scattered clothes, three cameras and five Czech passports inside.
The Voice of Lebanon radio later said that the father of Taan had filed a complaint to the police station in al-Dweir and claimed that his son has disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
VDL added that the five Czechs have entered Lebanon on the seventh of June.
Later during the day, the army intelligence carried out a wide inspection operation in hotels of the Bekaa and West Bekaa where the driver made some stops.
Czech FM Lubomír Zaorálek confirmed that five of his country's nationals have gone missing in Lebanon.
Kidnappings have declined in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war, when some 100 foreigners, mostly Americans and West Europeans, were snatched.
But some cases have been recorded, often for ransom and involving Lebanese as well as foreigners.
In the most high-profile case in recent years, seven Estonian cyclists were kidnapped at gunpoint in the Bekaa in 2011, being released some four months later.
The group claiming the abduction was previously unknown, and its motives were never entirely clear.
A ransom was reportedly paid, but that was never confirmed by any side.