Three Syrians Released Shortly after Abduction in Baalbekإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Three Syrian men, who were abducted in al-Bzaliyeh town in Baalbek, were released at 11:00 p.m. Monday, the National News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The three men identified as Mohammed al-Ali, Rifaat al-Mohammed and Saddam al-Khleif are now in the Lebanese army’s custody.
The kidnapped men were released in Shaath area near the international road, NNA said, noting that the three men are from the Syrian province of Hama.
On Monday, a previously unknown group called "The Brigade of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi" claimed the abduction of Syrian opposition members in Lebanon in a bid to swap them for 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims abducted in Syria on May 22, al-Mayadeen television reported.
However, the number of the kidnapped men remains vague as some news outlets said that the armed group kidnapped 5 Syrians.
According to al-Akhbar newspaper published on Tuesday, the abductors released 3 out of the 5 Syrians shortly after finding out that they were not Syrian opposition members.
However, security sources told the daily that the kidnappers released the 5 men on Monday night.
A Syrian rebel commander on Sunday said that the 11 Lebanese pilgrims were in “good health” but stressed that they will only be released “after the ouster” of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Lebanese men were on their way back from a pilgrimage in Iran when gunmen intercepted their buses in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.