Report: Abbas Shoaib Escapes Captors for Few Hoursإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Abbas Shoaib, one of the 11 abducted Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in Syria, has managed to escape from his captors for a few hours before being recaptured, LBCI television reported on Monday.
“On Wednesday evening, one of the relatives of the hostages received an SMS from a Syrian mobile phone number in which the sender identified himself as Abbas Shoaib,” the TV network said.
In the message, Shoaib urged the families of the abductees to “pressure the state into securing their release.”
“Fearing that he could be busted, he managed to escape from the place of detention by climbing a fence and running for hours in an uninhabited area,” LBCI said, adding that Shoaib also managed to nab the cellphone of one of the guards.
“He remained in contact with the families for around four hours, reiterating his demand that they pressure the Lebanese state, which he said was negligent in communicating with the negotiators,” LBCI added.
Meanwhile, the families contacted Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to inform him that Shoaib had managed to escape, the TV network said.
Mansour, for his part, telephoned the Lebanese consul in Turkey and gave him Shoaib’s number. The consul contacted Shoaib and told him that he will provide the Turkish intelligence with the number and that they would call him, locate his position and rescue him.
“Shoaib waited for the Turkish intelligence agents after running for hours, but his cellphone was turned off at 3:30 a.m.,” said LBCI.
“The families did not hear from him until Sunday, July 29, when some media outlets contacted Abu Ibrahim, the leader of the abductors, and managed to interview Shoaib and other hostages,” LBCI added.
On Sunday, Ali Abbas, another abductee, confirmed that the 11 kidnapped men are in the remote Aleppo area of Aazaz, blaming Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, without naming him, for their protracted captivity.
“We are the victims of a futile state and useless officials,” Abbas told LBCI.
Asked whom he was referring to, the abductee answered: “I'm referring to the person who has refused to apologize and I'm speaking in the name of everyone here.”
A previously unknown armed group calling itself "Syrian Revolutionaries - Aleppo Countryside" on May 31 claimed the 11 Lebanese pilgrims were in its custody, noting that negotiations to release the abductees “would only be possible after (Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan) Nasrallah apologizes for his latest speech.”
Speaking to the Beirut-based, pan-Arab al-Mayadeen television on Sunday, Shoaib hoped he would return soon to his family and saluted his children.
The 11 Shiite pilgrims were abducted by gunmen in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on May 22 as they were returning from a pilgrimage to Iran.
The rebel Free Syrian Army has denied any involvement.